Hiroshi "Mickey" Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten, Inc.
@hmikitani_e

In 2010, a group of e-business executives looking to drive meaningful change in Japan formed a professional association. Our original goal was to advocate for issues relevant to our emerging tech-related industry. But by 2012 we realized there was far more at stake than just e-commerce. We changed our name and broadened our goal: we became JANE, the Japan Association of New Economy.

What are JANE’s goals? We aim to generate innovation through the use of the Internet and other IT, and connect that innovation to the economic growth of Japan.

JANE is made up of the companies and venture/start-up firms that have developed Japan’s e-business and IT industries. We are more than 500 companies strong. With our combined experience and drive, we want to contribute to the development of the Japanese economy through the creation of diverse new industries.

For that to happen, we must be an organization that promotes change. It has been said that we are 180 degrees apart from the longstanding Japanese business organization Keidanren that I broke away from in 2011. We are not bound to current, conventional industries and vested interests, but instead we are about encouraging the innovation, entrepreneurship and globalization needed to develop new industries. And we work toward the realization of a more global and open marketplace through regulatory reform.

Japan is a country of rich traditions, culture, and philosophies cultivated over a 2,000-year history. We also possess excellence in advanced technology and creativity. We need to share this intellectual and technical wealth. We must not limit our ambitions to our own small national borders and become a country of exclusion. Japan should instead become a country of greater openness, one that accepts a variety of people and cultures, and is attractive to people everywhere. This calls for two intertwined goals: (1) We must work to become the wealthiest country in the world; and (2) we must also strive to become a safe and peaceful country with highly advanced science, technology, and culture. My work with JANE is aimed at achieving those goals.

Editor’s Note: NEST 2016, JANE’s global summit on innovation

The New Economy Summit is a global conference organized by JANE. First held in 2013, the annual summit brings together global entrepreneurs and innovators at the forefront of the new economy and industry to discuss future trends. This year’s NEST 2016 will feature renowned speakers spearheading the world of innovation to talk about timely topics such as the growth of the sharing economy and FinTech. World-class Japanese startups will also gather for the “NEST STARTUP CHALLENGE” pitch event.