Regular Member (Reinstatement)

Michiyo Nakamoto


Michiyo Nakamoto is a freelance journalist based in Tokyo. She was a journalist for the Financial Times for nearly 25 years, based in Tokyo and London. As a Tokyo correspondent in the late 1990s she covered the Tokyo financial markets and also wrote about Japanese business and social trends. In her two years in London she first covered U.K. businesses and then became electronics correspondent for the FT. She was the FT's deputy Tokyo bureau chief from 2006 until 2013.

After leaving the FT she wrote a book in Japanese about the communication pitfalls facing Japanese workers trying to compete in the global business community.

As a freelance journalist she has written for the FT, Nikkei Asia, BBC Online and the New York Times' T Magazine. Her writing these days is mostly focused on Japanese culture.

She also produces a blog - - which provides information in English on the people, places, products and trends that make Japan one of the most popular travel destinations in the world.

Michiyo's current interests include architecture, art, design, film and literature. She is a volunteer with the College Women’s Association of Japan, which raises funds to provide a number of scholarships, mostly to women graduates. She is married and has two grown children and a grandson.

Professional/Journalist Associate Member

Mariko Mikami


Mikami is a Tokyo-based independent journalist and consultant. She also serves as a member of various committees at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, providing deliberation and advisory services on industrial development and the local economy for more than 10 years.

As a journalist, she appears on the economic programs on NHK and commercial broadcasting companies, commenting on business models based on her writing and research.

She graduated from Keio University's faculty of environmental information. She also completed the University of Cambridge's CISL Sustainability Business Management executive program.

Associate Member

Junko Inoue

Daikin Industries, Ltd.

Junko Inoue serves as the Head of Global Corporate Communications at Daikin Industries, Ltd. She brings a wealth of experience to this role, having previously worked as a journalist at the Sankei Shimbun. Prior to joining Daikin, she held the position of Head of Corporate Communications at H2O Retailing, the parent company of Hankyu Hanshin Department Store and Izumiya Oasis, among others.

In January 2023, Junko embarked on a new career journey at Daikin, where she is currently focused on establishing a new corporate communication structure to engage effectively with the PR members of Daikin's overseas subsidiaries.

Beyond her professional endeavors, Junko has a passion for movies and literature. She is a devoted admirer of the renowned film director Wes Anderson and the late Japanese novelist Toyoko Yamazaki.

Associate Member

Robert A. Mills

Oracle Corporation Japan

I was born in Epping, England and moved to Nyasaland with my parents at a very young age. After a short stint in Nyasaland our family moved further south to Salisbury, Rhodesia where I attended primary school, witnessed the Unilateral Declaration of Independence followed by a somewhat predictable guerilla war. We moved yet again, further South to South Africa where I attended high school and lived during the thick of apartheid in an entirely cloistered, all-white environments.

Disgusted to continue living in and, endorsing such racially segregated hatred, I returned to my native England to complete my university education. My tenured and successful career in Information Technology over the last 35 years has afforded me the luxury to have traveled extensively across the globe.

I have been fortunate to experience and capture a plethora of cultures through my freelance journalistic photography, turned my passion into my calling, my profession, and the thing that will undoubtedly drive me insane someday. I wrestle with every image I shoot. I assume perfection is possible and I want to wring it out of every photograph. I'm a permanent resident of Japan and enjoy Cuban cigars, scuba diving, traveling and street photography.

Associate Member

Edward O. Mears

DLA Piper Tokyo Partnership

Edward Mears is a US-qualified (California and Washington DC) Registered Foreign Attorney (gaikokuho-jimu-bengoshi) at DLA Piper where he is a trusted advisor to companies looking to enter the Japanese market or expand their operations abroad.

Originally from East Grand Rapids, Michigan and a graduate of Georgetown University and The University of Michigan Law School, Edward has been resident in Asia for a decade, spending time in both Japan and Singapore along with stints in Chile and Belgium.

Edward is a passionate advocate for diversity, social justice, and equality and is a committed ally of the LGBT+ rights movement. He is the global co-lead for DLA Piper's LGBT+ and ally employee resource group Iris and is also a member of Lawyers for LGBT and Allies Network (LLAN), which provides legal assistance to the LGBT+ community in Japan and advocates for the elimination of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Edward is President of the Georgetown Alumni Club of Japan and is a member of the Tokyo American Club and the World Association of International Studies. Edward also has expertise in the business and politics of international sport from a prior career in sports broadcasting and sponsorship with the Japanese advertising agency Dentsu.

Associate Member

Shota Ohashi

Sakuratech Co., Ltd.

Ohashi was born in Higashiosaka, a city famous for monozukuri manufacturing. He graduated from Kindai University and holds an MBA from the Graduate School of Management GLOBIS University. In 2011 he started working at Marubeni-Itochu Steel Inc. In 2014 he joined Sakuratech Co., Ltd., a galvanized steel wire manufacturer that has been a family-owned business for 84 years. In 2022 he was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Sakuratech Co., Ltd. With the slogan "make wires bloom", he created the No.1 wire company in Japan and a "wire art" business.