CKGSB Dean Meets with Senior Japanese Government Officials and MPs
May 22, 2019

CKGSB Dean Xiang Bing, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Other Senior Japanese Officials Discuss Confucian Economic Sphere and Cultivating a New Generation of Disruptive Business Leaders

[Tokyo, May 14, 2019] On May 14, 2019, the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB) Founding Dean and Professor of China Business and Globalization Xiang Bing, conducted a series of meetings in Tokyo, Japan, with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, Chief of the Komeito Party Natsuo Yamaguchi, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Finance Shinichi Isa, and Central Officer of the Komeito Party and Director of the Foreign Affairs Committee Kiyohiko Toyama, in addition to holding a seminar with a dozen other members of the Japanese parliament, including Leader of the Democratic Party for the People Yuichiro Tamaki. At the meetings, Dean Xiang shared his view on the Confucian Economic Sphere, and CKGSB’s vision and latest global programs aiming to foster a new generation of disruptive business leaders, which received wide recognition and support from Japan’s political and business leaders.

Dean Xiang introduced the concept of the Confucian Economic Sphere (CES) as “the group of economies that may be shaped or influenced by Confucianism, such as Greater China (mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan), Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Vietnam.” Dean Xiang emphasized that the nominal GDP of this economic bloc exceeded those of the EU and the US to become number one globally in 2015 and virtually all of these economies have performed well despite of marked disparities in their political systems. CES societies share the common value of ‘Harmony without Uniformity’ and comprise of complementary economies that can further grow from communicating and exchanging with one another. At the same time, CES members are highly dependent on foreign trade; hence, it is more important than ever for them to further integrate as unilateralism, protectionism and anti-globalization become more prominent in some parts of the world. “The development of an increasingly prosperous, civilized and harmonious Confucian Economic Sphere will benefit the world,” said Dean Xiang.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono (right) meeting with Dean Xiang Bing (left) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

During the meetings, Professor Xiang also expressed that whilst Japan had pioneered and led the Asian Economic Miracle after World War II (followed by the Four Tigers and later by the rise of mainland China), few new world-class companies have emerged from Japan in the last 30 years, and few fresh faces can be found on the country’s wealthiest lists. His view is that, similar to some of the developed economies, such as Western Europe, there is a lack of disrupting innovative forces.

One central undertaking of CKGSB is to develop a global ecosystem for the next-generation disruptors that are economically, socially and environmentally responsible, while embracing technologic innovation. For this to succeed, Dean Xiang emphasized the need for a new generation of disruptive business leaders who are equipped with three necessary attributes. First, they need to be capable of integrating global resources and share a sense of global responsibility. Second, they shall embrace, lead and drive major technological and business model innovations. Finally, they shall truly value social innovations and play a positive role in addressing major societal issues, such as income and wealth inequality, diminishing social mobility and sustainable development. To this end, he shared CKGSB’s latest global programs for developing business leaders of this kind, offering to assist and collaborate with Japan’s political, business and academic leaders to develop a new generation of innovative entrepreneurs in Japan, which will be essential for the revitalization of the Japanese economy and would benefit the development of Asia, as well as the global economy. The Japanese government officials and members of parliament, whom Dean Xiang met with, expressed their support for CKGSB’s programs and the value they bring to Japan’s future business leaders. 

Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono also acknowledged that Japan has only produced a limited number of unicorn companies over the past 30 years. He attributed this to the fact that most young talents have had a tendency to stay in their comfort zone, with fewer learning foreign languages, such as English and Chinese. In order to rectify this, he emphasized the need for a drive to ignite their entrepreneurial interest and global vision, such as the one proposed by CKGSB.

Dean Xiang (right) in discussions with Chief of the Komeito Party Natsuo Yamaguchi (left)

During the talks with Chief of the Komeito Party Natsuo Yamaguchi, Dean Xiang voiced his appreciation to the Komeito Party for its contribution to enhance China-Japan relations. He conveyed particular gratitude to Mr. Yamaguchi for visiting China, when the relationship between the two countries was experiencing challenges, to encourage and foster dialogue between the two countries and, in doing so, significantly improving bilateral relations.

Mr. Yamaguchi expressed admiration for CKGSB’s achievements during its short history since its establishment in November 2002. Mr. Yamaguchi thanked CKGSB for sharing its experiences in cultivating a new generation of entrepreneurs. He also echoed Professor Xiang’s views on the Confucian Economic Sphere in emphasizing the commonalities in culture and highly complementary economies that provide a good basis for future cooperation.

Central Officer of the Komeito Party and Director of the Foreign Affairs Committee Kiyohiko Toyama (left) giving a tour of the National Diet Building to Dean Xiang Bing (right)

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