The chairman of Japan-based Event Services is a globetrotter with an adventurous streak in his downtime, but lives and breathes corporate events during the day.
When did you first start doing business events?
I started my career as a travel agent, handling both inbound and outbound. I then became the vice president of the incentive travel department ‚Äď where I worked for many years ‚Äď before I became interested in producing corporate events worldwide. I left the company and founded Event Services, my own company, in 1981.
How has Japan‚Äôs business industry changed from when you started out?
The word ‚Äėincentive‚Äô was not widely known at that time. Over the years, I have produced a lot of incentive events worldwide for our clients. Japan‚Äôs business event industry has grown tremendously, although, almost all the business events for 2020 have been either cancelled or postponed. Hopefully, the situation will improve soon.
What do you love/dislike about your job?
Confucius said: ‚ÄúOne who knows is no match for one who likes. One who likes is no match for one who enjoys.‚ÄĚ I believe that people who genuinely like what they do for living always perform better in their jobs. In my case, I completely enjoy doing events and have no dislikes, believe it or not!
Could you share a memorable milestone in your career?
I remember my first two incentive events that I organised in Canada for AFLAC Japan (a life insurance company). I did two events for them ‚Äď a Canada- themed award dinner in Banff and another Canada-themed gala dinner in Vancouver. I long remember them because these were the first two events I produced overseas, and they went very very well. AFLAC also became our loyal client for more than 20 years.
What do your family and friends think of your job?
They say I am made to be an event planner as they know I am always looking for something interesting, something that makes people happy, something that makes the venue shine, and something that motivates people.
Tell us something most people don‚Äôt know about you.
I am a 5th dan (grade) aikido black belt holder. I am a scuba diver, too. I have been scuba diving for almost 40 years at such nice diving point as Bahamas, Hawaii, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Micronesia, Okinawa. Being able to stay underwater for nearly an hour is a very unique experience! I also did hang gliding before, and I am now interested to fly a helicopter. I may go to a flying school.¬†