Takeshi Niinami, chief executive officer of Suntory Holdings Ltd., believes that companies and governments need to offer proper training and education to their employees with a long-term view toward new technologies as people still lack the skills needed for "the fourth industrial revolution."

"Technology will be the rule-changer in the future, and we need to maximize the sensitivity of our antenna for technological innovation," Niinami told The Japan Times in an interview during the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, last month.

Niinami pointed out that the fourth industrial revolution, along with the growth of protectionist sentiment and female empowerment, were the topics that dominated discussions among business and political leaders.