Mickey’s Voice

Insights from our CEO

  • Tech Revolution in Tokyo: Japan highway long exposure and Mountain Fuji in autumn season evening

    My plan for a tech revolution in Tokyo

    If I could make a big change right now, I’d start right here in Tokyo. It’s a dream of mine to transform this city into the next tech hub. Working with JANE (Japan Association of New Economy), we’re pursuing a revolution through innovation – a plan to create a hub for tech entrepreneurs in Asia. It would require many changes. Among them: Encourage entrepreneurs and engineers to come and work in To…

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  • Ryoichi and Hiroshi Mikitani

    My economist father turned me into an entrepreneur

    After writing a proposal for Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s Industrial Competitiveness Council on growth strategy entitled “Japan Again,” I understood that as a businessperson I knew only so much. So when I decided to write a book on the same subject I knew early on whom I would ask to be my coauthor: my mentor, my father. My dad, an economist and a professor emeritus at Kobe University, had…

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  • Mickey with the “Tenku” drone

    The drone economy

    Look! Up in the sky! It’s our future. And it’s spectacular. Drones are a new technology that have a lot of people talking. Android co-founder Andy Rubin was talking about them here in Japan at NEST 2016. Of course, we are still in the very early stages of applying this technology in the real world, and there is a lot to learn about how drones can be deployed in commercial delivery. But there is no…

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  • Why do we climb mountains?

    We have talked a lot at Rakuten recently about mountain climbing, especially since I replaced golf with a climb up Mt. Tanigawa in the Japanese Alps for our annual executive management camp. So, I want to take a moment to talk about mountains because I think they can play an important role in our lives. Typically, people think of the mountain summit as the goal and the act of climbing as the proce…

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  • "Asakai" at Rakuten

    A funny thing about Rakuten: Behind-the-scenes at work

    Every spring when we welcome new graduates, or after we’ve acquired a company, I hear comments about this funny thing I do every Tuesday. I hear even more about it when new employees, who I like to call Rakutenians, learn that they too must do this funny thing. What is this funny thing? I clean my desk! I’ve written about this before. I always receive questions in the comments about this task. Som…

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  • NEST 2017 will host a strong lineup of speakers and events.

    Watching Science Fiction Become Science Fact

    Discovering more about what the future might hold was what got together global leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators earlier this month at the New Economy Summit Tokyo. I was excited to join the event, also known as NEST, along with 3000 people also keen on doing just that. Hosted by the Japan Association of New Economy that I helped found in 2010, this year’s annual global meeting sparked lively…

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  • Questioning the status quo: Japan innovation

    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’…

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  • Hiroshi Mikitani on Global Expansion

      Hiroshi “Mickey” Mikitani on global expansion and how Viber and Ebates fit into the future of the Rakuten ecosystem. From his appearance onstage in New York at Business Insider IGNITION 2015.

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  • The Priceless Value of Quality

    In 2016, Rakuten will enter our 20th year. We’ve come a long way since we started with a team of six and 13 merchants and that makes it even more important to focus on what makes our marketplace unique. We have developed into Japan’s leading online shopping mall and we are a highly trusted platform with high quality service because of our ability to collaborate closely with the merchants on…

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  • Vision 2020: Rakuten

    As Rakuten recently announced financial results for 2015, we also launched Vision 2020, a new mid-term strategy map for the future. Let me set out the key points here. Going forward, Rakuten is going to focus on 3 types of businesses: Strong, Smart, and Speed. Here is an outline of each: 1) Strong Businesses These are the businesses where we are strong enough to defend our turf and keep growing 10…

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