Day 8 of the YES! PROJECT—Overseas Media Interviews

I was scheduled for an interview with the BBC, the UK state broadcasting company, on Thursday, September 1. Originally, the interview was to be broadcast on television, but because they wanted to talk longer, it was broadcast on radio instead. It made no difference to me, one way or the other, so I readily decided to accept the offer. When the time came, I entered the conference room, where a casually dressed English man was waiting. As I thought, the interview would be in English.

Immediately the microphone was put in front of me and the interview was underway. The foreign media also seemed to be really interested in YES (Young Entrepreneurs' Society). They seemed particularly interested in the fact that the founders—all 160 of them—were entrepreneurs, and that this network made use of blogs and social networking sites (GREE).

After explaining why we had started the YES! PROJECT, there was a Q&A session, and I began explaining the development of the project by answering questions.

"Within three hours of being set up, the site received 10,000 hits. It has now been accessed more than 100,000 times, and nearly 300 websites have YES links. It is rapidly developing into the most popular site for the GREE community. I can feel a ground swell building on the other side of the Internet."

"This election has encouraged young people to become very interested in politics, and it is believed that election turnouts are going to rise. One aspect of the YES! PROJECT is our appeal to people to go and vote as well as to speak out more often."

"Because of this, entries on the blogs and GREE are very lively, and the ensuing debates are becoming very serious. Everybody appears to be thinking about the future of Japan. It almost seems as though people have been waiting for a movement like this to come along."

"The LDP and the Democratic Party are both supporting the YES! PROJECT. The LDP is holding meetings especially for bloggers. They seem to understand just how strong the power of blogging is becoming."

"The only thorn in our side is the Public Office Election Law. Unless this bad law is changed then democracy through digital media cannot genuinely move forward. I appealed to Secretary-General Takebe at the LDP assembly to change this law."

I often speak in English, so I am pretty used to it, but I am not used to discussing politics. After the interview was over, I reflected on how I could have done much better.

That afternoon I had an interview with the Financial Times, which was conducted over the phone. The Financial Times is one of my favorite newspapers and I read it regularly. Since the weekend edition includes our discussion, I am really looking forward to it. :-)

The New York Times contacted me that evening. 
It seems that the YES! PROJECT is starting to become well known abroad. :-)

September 2, 2005
Yoshito Hori

Mr. Yoshito Hori established GLOBIS Management School in 1992 and GLOBIS Capital Partners in 1996. In 2003, GLOBIS started its original MBA program which, in 2006, received accreditation from the Japanese Ministry of Education and gained “university” status. GLOBIS started a part-time MBA program in English in 2009 and a full-time MBA program in English in 2012.

A Harvard MBA graduate and former Sumitomo Corporation employee, Mr. Hori founded the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Japan Chapter in 1995 and became the first board member from Asia in charge of Asia Pacific region in 1996. He also served on the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s New Asian Leaders Executive Committee and Global Agenda Council on New Models of Leadership, as well as the Harvard Business School Alumni Board from 2005 to 2008. Currently, Mr. Hori is a board member of the Keizai Doyukai (Japan Association of Corporate Executives), and serves as co-chair of WEF’s Global Growth Companies.

In 2008, he launched the G1 Summit – a Japanese version of the WEF’s annual Davos forum. This led to the foundation of G1 Summit Institute in 2013, which Mr. Hori serves as Representative Director.

Just days after a huge earthquake struck northeast Japan in March 2011, Mr. Hori launched Project KIBOW to support the rebuilding of the disaster-affected areas. The following year Project KIBOW was incorporated as the KIBOW Foundation, which Mr. Hori serves as Representative Director.

An avid enthusiast of the Japanese game Go since age 40, Mr. Hori has been Director of the Nihon Ki-in (Japan Go Association) since June 2013.

Since October 2013, Mr. Hori has hosted a weekly TV program in Japan called Nippon Mirai Kaigi (Japan Future Conference). He has authored several books including Visionary Leaders who Create and Innovate Societies, Six Dimensions of Life, and My Personal Mission Statement.

Mr. Hori received his BS in Engineering from Kyoto University and his MBA from Harvard Business School.

He is an avid swimmer and enjoys spending time with his family, especially his five sons.

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