I first visited Japan in 1991 as a young artist and entrepreneur as part of a year traveling the world. I was and still am fascinated to this day by the ability of Japanese society to be orderly and polite, despite a massive population and crowds.
Although Japan was still very closed to foreign cultures back then, I am glad that with hard work, I was able to be accepted and create a successful business that is highly trusted.
Always have a vision and set a clear goal for the future, and then work them out backwards to the present to reverse engineer how to get there.
When having a stake such as this, a beacon located in your future, it makes many decisions easier and the path of where and how to move forward becomes clearer.
As I started my business from scratch after I arrived in Japan, I take pride in the fact that prior to joining Interlink, I was able to build and create one of the largest food companies and manufacturing facilities, supplying all major Japanese food companies on a large scale.
Being able to communicate with my staff and get them on board to achieve that goal, maintaining growth over the decades is one of the achievements I am the proudest of.
Keep on building bridges between Japanese culture and the rest of the world, and vice versa. This means not changing each other to become the same, but just creating good tools, better understanding differences and how can we all learn from each about different views of the world we live in.
Those bridges can be built through the technological, food and cultural exchanges that I am currently working on.
After many years in Japan, my belief and advice to those living in Japan is to understand and value a key word — “trust.”
If you maintain a good reputation of being trustworthy in your words and actions, many doors will open in the long run.
Also, the other key word I believe is important when living here is “patience.” Things take a long time and there can be no shortcuts.