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John Kawase

Chief Financial Officer
Amway Japan

Hometown: Brea, California

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 23 (as of August 2018)

John Kawase
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

I am a fourth-generation Japanese-American. When I was studying Japanese in college, I happened to come across “Oshin,” a big-name NHK TV drama series. I fell in love with one of the main actresses of “Oshin,” Yuko Tanaka. My first visit to Japan was through the Rotary Exchange program, but I was really hoping that someone from the rotary club could introduce me to her. Of course, it didn’t happen.

Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

Life is short, so enjoy all the different flavors of it. In my personal and professional life, I’ve always strived to do things differently. I have experienced various company cultures, discovered new hobbies and welcomed new environments. Challenges in life come at you like windsurfing on the ocean, one of my favorite hobbies.

Q3 : Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

Relationships are the treasure of my life. I’ve been blessed to have wonderful ones with my family, friends, peers, bosses and staff members. Whether through work, hobbies or interests, I’ve enjoyed meeting new people and have always kept in touch with them. I’m proud of the people I surround myself with and of the relationships I’ve maintained, as they are what nurture my happiness.

Q4 : What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?

In my personal life, I want to continue to develop my relationship with my family and expand new horizons. As chief financial officer of Amway Japan, beyond producing and analyzing financial statements for optimization, I would like to continue to contribute to our business strategy and add value to our employees and Amway distributors.

Q5 : What wisdom, advice or tips can you give to people living and working in Japan?

To really understand the culture and environment of Japan, you need to break down barriers and build relationships outside of your bubble. The sea is beautiful from the shore, but when you actually start to paddle above, or scuba dive and explore, you will find a world you’ve never seen before.

Last updated: Sep 4, 2018