Makaira has a hybrid team consisting of talented individuals from a range of diverse backgrounds, including government agencies, politicians, parliamentary secretaries, NPOs, researchers, large private companies, start-ups, journalists, and artists. We provide end-to-end support from strategy planning to implementation, including lobbying, media relations, event planning and management, new business creation, branding, and creative production.
Ko Fujii Co-Representative Director & CEO
Co-Representative Director & CEO
As a public affairs professional with strong focus on the tech sector, Kos expertise ranges from strategic global communications to local community engagement.
Prior to his current position, Ko was Head of Public Policy and Government Relations for Google in Japan, and before that, a public affairs consultant at FleishmanHillard Japan. Ko originally started his career at the Japanese government’s Science and Technology Agency, Agency for Cultural Affairs, and Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), where he was mainly responsible for international policy.
Ko is Visiting Professor at Tama University’s Center for Rule-Making Strategies, board member of organizations including Information and Communications Policy Forum (ICPF), NPO Neomura, and the Peace Day Foundation, a committee member of Toyama Prefecture’s Growth Strategy Committee, and a Certified Public Relations Planner of the Public Relations Society of Japan. In 2019, Ko was selected as one of the 25 Innovators of the APAC region by the Holmes Report.
Akira Takahashi Co-Representative Director & COO
Co-Representative Director & COO
Akira started his professional career as an economist at the Bank of Japan. He led a micro-research team and provided monetary policy board members with economic forecasts. After earning an MBA degree at Purdue University, he switched to the industry-side and led a corporate turn-around of a small manufacturing company. Following this, he worked for Rakuten (corporate planning, new business development), and Welby (medical×IT startup, IPO in 2019). At Makaira, he provides consulting for both market & non-market strategy for large corporations, startups and NPOs in a wide range of industries.
Akira graduated from Waseda University School of Commerce, and got his MBA at Purdue University. He teaches at Globis Management School as Partner Faculty.
Yuzuru Tachi Executive Officer / Head, Makaira Public Affairs
Executive Officer / Head, Makaira Public Affairs
Yuzuru provides consulting in a wide range of fields, including support of relationship establishment between startups and the public sector, as well as policy analysis and policy proposals.
His areas of expertise include technology in urban development, mobility, e-commerce, and fintech. He has worked for 12 years in the public sector (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Cabinet Office, United Nations UN-HABITAT) and 8 years in Japanese IT companies (Rakuten, Mercari) managing their legal and public policy teams.
His areas of responsibility included regional development and aviation policy at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, disaster prevention policy at the Cabinet Office, and research and analysis to deal with aggravating urban problems in various countries at the UN. As manager of the legal department at Rakuten and manager for legal issues and policy planning at Mercari, he was responsible for the interpretation and application of various laws.
Satoko Ishii PR Director
With a career spanning approximately 20 years in the communications industry, Satoko began handling lifestyle content for the ELLE Online editorial department at Hearst Fujingaho Co., Ltd. Subsequently, she supported PR activities for various industries such as technology, consumer goods, tourism, automotive, and healthcare, working at a foreign PR agency. During this time, Satoko gained experience in the public sector PR support, working as a freelancer and providing overseas public relations for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, as well as advocacy related to domestic national elections. At Makaira, she focuses on the theme of “value co-creation” and supports advocacy activities for United Nations agencies and international NGOs through collaboration between the government, private sector, and academia. Additionally, she provides assistance in social branding development and sustainability promotion for technology and healthcare companies. Satoko is a graduate of Keio University’s Faculty of Policy Management.
Maho Imamura Art Director
Leveraging her experience in toC, Maho depicts the customer experience through intricate emotional design.
After working in the apparel industry, she pursued a graduate degree specializing in architecture. While still in college, Maho was involved in various creative endeavors as an art director for a venture company, including spatial design, content planning, graphics and costume production for fully customized wedding projects and corporate assignments.
She then moved on to work in event management for a company involved in tackling social issues, and also gained extensive experience in design consultancy while working for a creative agency.
With a focus on understanding clients’ needs, Maho’s strength lies in creating essential and beautiful spaces.
Tomoyasu Urata Senior Consultant
After working as a creative director at a major advertising production company, Tomo was engaged in business development and branding for major companies, as well as commercialization projects for social good and SDGs at a venture company that specializes in business design. With the aim of developing businesses from the consumer’s point of view, incorporating the essence of the right brain, he provides support for business development through market research, business planning and promotion, and PR and SP strategy planning.
Makaira aims to create a new society through a three-pronged approach of market strategy, non-market strategy, and creativity.
Kyoko Oishi Corporate: Human Resources & Administration Manager
Corporate: Human Resources & Administration Manager
Professional in launching, managing and improving overall back office work, communication and culture of a growing organization.
Kyoko started her career as a veterinary nurse before moving to the private sector. After working in sales support at Sony PCL, she joined Azit, a start-up company aiming to establish MaaS services. In just two years, Kyoko supported the rapid growth of the organization from 5 to over 100 employees by setting up the entire back office from scratch, including personnel and labor affairs, general affairs, sales support, and accounting, and establishing operations. She then worked in HR and general affairs for another start-up company before joining Makaira. Kyoko is responsible for building and operating back-office systems centered on human resources and general affairs, and fostering a corporate culture.
In addition to her work at Makaira, she continues to be a popular manicurist with a constant flow of appointments.
Shinji Ohata Head, Makaira Art&Design
Head, Makaira Art&Design
Shinji provides consulting for medium- to long-term projects for major companies, with a focus on business development, brand transformation, collective impact, and new industry creation.
Through 10 years of working at a major company, Shinji gained experience with launches of new businesses, new products, and new R&D. Following that, he has worked for business development and branding in various industries as strategist of a brand consulting firm, director of a business consulting firm, and executive officer of a social creative group.
Shinji joined Makaira in 2020, and is currently a lecturer on “Social Innovation” at Waseda Business School (MBA).
Has a Bachelor’s and Master of Engineering from Osaka University, and a Master’s in Business Administration from Takarazuka University of Art and Design (MBA in Design).
Minoru Ogiso Director, Makaira Public Policy Institute
Director, Makaira Public Policy Institute
Graduated from the University of Tokyo Faculty of Law in March 1994. Joined the Ministry of Transport (currently the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism) in April 1994, and worked in policy planning and executing as a national civil servant for about nine years. Joined Rakuten in May 2006, where he worked in policy affairs for 15 years.
He has been in charge of policy proposals for economic organizations as secretariat since the founding of the Japan Association of New Economy (JANE) in 2012. Left Rakuten at the end of 2021 and became independent.
Yuriko Kusano Senior Consultant
Yuriko’s main focus is on consulting related to labor, employment, education, and sustainability.
She worked for the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) for 8 years, mainly engaged in trade negotiations, retail and distribution policy, as well as human resource policy. After working for an educational venture company, where she was involved in business planning and the strengthening of organizational infrastructure, she became interested in the social implementation of various innovations and joined Makaira. Graduated from the University of Tokyo.
Martin Glindemann Consultant
Martin is a multi-lingual public affairs consultant specializing in the tech and innovation
sectors. At Makaira, he manages public affairs programs on women participation promotion in Japan for the world’s largest social media company, as well as promotion of VR technology in education. Martin is also the program manager for Makaira’s partnerships with international affiliates, and manages international tourism and public diplomacy related projects. Back in Germany, he also gathered experience reporting for the local TV station Offener Kanal Wettin and the Mainzer Rhein-Zeitung newspaper. Martin graduated from the University of Trier in Germany with a Master’s degree in Media & Communication and Japanese Studies, where he focused especially on Public Relations, International Marketing, and Crisis Communication. Speaks both Japanese and Korean.
Kazuma Kurokawa Senior Associate
Kazuma works primarily with digital clients and has strengths in communications, including advertising and PR.
After graduating from university, he joined a marketing company and was responsible for a wide range of areas, from offline strategies such as events and seminars to online initiatives including website development and social media marketing. He then moved to a local municipality, where he was involved in legislative tasks such as drafting proposals and conducting official seal audits. In 2020, Kazuma joined the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. After gaining experience in educational administration, he was transferred to the Start-up and International Financial City Strategy Office in 2023. As part of a staff exchange programme, Kazuma was transferred to Makaira and is currently serving in that position.
Hiromitsu Takahashi Corporate: Head of Business Administration
Corporate: Head of Business Administration
Hiromitsu graduated from the University of Tokyo and joined the Central Japan Railway Company (JR東海) after graduation. In addition to back-office tasks such as accounting, finance and general affairs, he was involved in organizational development at the Yamanashi Maglev Test Center and projects such as investment in a high-speed rail project in Texas, USA, during the overseas transportation city development support project assignment (JOIN). After working at Accenture and a space venture company, Hiromitsu joined Makaira in April 2023.
Hiromitsu holds a bachelor’s degree from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Tokyo and a master’s degree in urban planning from the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States.
Taiyo Chihara Senior Consultant
After finishing graduate school, Taiyo worked as a clerk at law firms as well as at Waseda University, handling compliance and business restructuring issues.
In 2015, he joined the office of Fumiaki Kobayashi, a member of the House of Representatives. For the following four years, he worked as a policy secretary, responsible for policy planning, relationship building with ministries, and external affairs. He further supported the revision of various laws by identifying and organizing issues, drafting plans for policies to become solution strategies, and coordinating stakeholders. Major achievements include the revision of the Fishery Act for the first time in 70 years, and provisions regarding digital platform businesses.
Since joining Makaira in 2019, Taiyo has been working on public-private digitalization, government reform, and industry development.
Hiroki Tomita Consultant
Hiroki was born in Hyogo Prefecture in 1976. He was formerly a mayor, secretary to a member of the Japanese House of Representatives, a city councilor, and an instructor (political science/administration) at a public service preparatory school.
In terms of public policy, Hiroki specializes in urban and regional management. During his tenure as mayor, he managed to deliver on many of his promises. Hiroki further established several project teams and accomplished the abolition of extra-departmental organizations, the management reform of the municipal hospital, as well as economic reform (review of all projects) and organizational reform. He also implemented several measures to expand services for residents, and promoted the SDGs Future City Plan (realization of Society 5.0) and DX within the government and the local community, as well as new public management utilizing advanced technology to solve problems. Hiroki then joined Makaira, resonating with the companies’ vision. He specialized in public affairs work, including the reform and adjustment of existing regulations and aligning interests with society in order to create innovation.
Hiroki is also engaged in corporate advisory work for several companies. Graduated from the Kyoto University School of Public Policy.
Takeo Nakagawa Special Advisor
Based on abundant administrative experience and achievements, Takeo provides support with strategy formulation and policy proposals in the field of innovation and education.
In his many years of administrative experience at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), the Cabinet Secretariat, and the Cabinet Office, he was in charge of planning and promoting science, technology and innovation policies and educational policies, and gained experience as well with personnel and Diet measures, and leading crisis management teams. He has served as Deputy Director-General of the Innovation Promotion Office of the Cabinet Secretariat, executive of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the Cabinet Office, and Director-General of the National Institute for Educational Policy Research.
Satoshi Hazome Principal
Since entering the workforce, Satoshi has been consistently engaged in public works projects. He has a wide range of work experience, knowledge, and expertise, from large-scale projects for the national and prefectural governments to operations for wards and municipalities.
Satoshi has worked on business IT, BPR, and DX for public works in the national government, foundations, prefectures, and municipalities at Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corporation (NTT), NTT Data, Kokusai Kogyo, Zenrin, MTI, and others. He has a wide range of experience from core systems to front office systems to back office systems.
For the last 15 years or so, he has been involved in geographic information, medical care, health and welfare/caregiving, and child care. He has also been involved in lobbying for the last 5 years.
Previous positions include
・Project Manager, “Demonstration Project for Mountain Accident Prevention Using ICT”
・Member of the Study Group for the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s Digital Platform Construction Project (Survey and Research on the Utilization of Government Data in the Field of Education in Small Local Governments), FY 2019
Certified as an Expert in Health Master Certification
Joined Makaira KK in July 2023
Nae Hiraguri Senior Associate
After graduating from university, Nae joined the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, where she was involved in subsidy and system design for various crops and initiatives related to internal and external digital transformation (DX). She was seconded to the Food Safety Commission of the Cabinet Office, where she participated in tasks related to setting and evaluating safety standards for agricultural chemicals and other aspects of food safety, as well as legislative reforms.
In view of the current situation where government-developed systems and policies are not sufficiently recognised and utilized, Nae realized the importance of fostering an active communication between national and local governments and the private sector. With this goal in mind, she joined Makaira in 2023.
During her time at university, Nae wrote a thesis on agricultural policy in mountainous regions, demonstrating her strong interest in the field of agriculture. She completed the Public Law and Policy Programme at the Graduate School of International Public Policy, Hitotsubashi University.
Lillian Bain Associate
Born and raised in Oregon, USA, Lilly holds a Bachelor’s degree in Government (political theory) from Dartmouth College, and a Master’s degree in Global Studies from the University of Tokyo. She has experience interning at the US Japan Council, and an IT consulting firm in Tokyo. She has a high interest in politics and public policy, including Fintech and related regulations, national economic security, and public diplomacy. Speaks Japanese and English, and joined Makaira in 2021.
Akira Matsumoto Consultant
Akira is specialized in public communication regarding safe and secure use of the Internet by minors, utilising his experience and accomplishments in both the private sector and government.
In graduate school, he researched local media and urban development, and worked with the public authorities and a shopping district to work towards the opening of a community radio station. After working at a printing company, Akira was in charge of planning and managing content for games and youth protection measures at Internet and game companies. Following that, he was engaged as a specialist in measures against harmful information (in charge of providing an environment for the youth) at the Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, where his responsibilities included formulating basic planning and scientific research based on the “Act on Development of an Environment that Provides Safe and Secure Internet Use for Young People”, activities for spreading awareness, and symposium management. In Makaira, Akira handles consulting and event planning activities from both the private and administrative perspectives. He also has deep knowledge of the use and application of local media and the Internet for regional development. Akira graduated from the Shizuoka University of Art and Culture Graduate School.
Yuri Mikami Producer
Originally from Tokyo, Yuri studied interior design in Italy after graduating from high school. Upon returning to Japan, she began her career as a creative producer at a web production company. She was later seconded to JR East Japan Planning, where she was responsible for the promotion of commercial facilities. Through her involvement in various creative production processes, including graphics, printing and photography, Yuri gained experience in managing creative production operations. In the spring of 2023, she joined Makaira Art&Design (MAD).
Naoto Mizuguchi Consultant
Naoto is responsible for government relations. He has experience as Secretary General/Director of the National Association of Retail Liquor Dealers and its political federation, as well as the political federation of the National Industrial Resources Recycling Federation. He has supported GR activities for DeepTech start-ups and ran as an official candidate for the Liberal Democratic Party in the 25th House of Councillors election.
During his tenure at the National Association of Retail Liquor Dealers and its political federation, Naoto achieved the passage of parliamentary petitions in the House of Representatives and House of Councillors Finance Committees. He lobbied both the ruling and opposition parties, resulting in bipartisan legislation. At the National Industrial Resources Recycling Federation political association, he served as Deputy Director of the GR Secretariat through introductions by ruling party members of parliament, contributing to the advancement of industry organizations and members. In DeepTech venture companies, he supported advocacy activities as the GR lead. Naoto joined Makaira in April 2023. He is also a visiting member of the International Business Creation Research Center at Keio University’s Faculty of Economics.
Yuki Minowa Consultant
Utilizing his knowledge in the recruitment industry, Yuki is primarily responsible for providing personnel support to government officials and companies engaged in public affairs. After graduating from university, he worked in corporate sales at JTB Corporation. He was in charge of new sales, and handled the highest number of projects per year in his department, across all areas and industries. He then joined Reeracoen Malaysia Sdn Bhd, the Malaysian branch of NeoCareer Group, where he was appointed as sales manager in his second year and was involved in a wide range of activities including KPI management, sales member training, and in-house recruitment as acting branch manager. Feeling a sense of crisis about the low mobility of personnel in Japan and a desire to create a career path that transcends public, private, academic, and NPO organizations, he then joined Makaira.
He holds a Bachelor of Law degree from Chuo University.
Yosuke Miyata External Partner
Yousuke is a policy advocate for the realization of new services, including the sharing economy. He started his career at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in 2007, where he was responsible for IT policy after having been in charge of regional revitalization, work-style reform, tourism demand policy, and reform of the social security system. He also drafted policy plans such as for the promotion of the spread of data utilization, and revision of the Personal Information Protection Law. Following this, he was in charge of IT policy advocacy activities as manager of Policy Planning Staff at Yahoo! Besides that, Yousuke participated in the work of industry groups such as Keidanren, and also involved himself widely in the IT industry, launching the Japan IT Association Federation and the IT Social Promotion Political Federation, thereby leading policy advocacy activities across the industry. In 2018, he founded Poliflect K.K., a business responsible for policy advocacy activities, and became representative director.
Shogo Murata Senior Fellow, Makaira Public Policy Institute
Senior Fellow, Makaira Public Policy Institute
Shogo specializes in advocacy and policy research mainly in the healthcare and technology sectors.
After graduating from university, he worked at a non-profit think tank before being elected to the Kashiwa City council (Chiba Prefecture). During his tenure, he served as Chairman of the Education and Welfare Committee and was in charge of preparations for legislative proposals such as the Cancer Control Ordinance and the Suicide Countermeasure Promotion Ordinance. From 2016, he served as the legislative staff to Mr. FUKUDA Mineyuki (MP, Liberal Democratic Party of Japan & Special Advisor to the Minister of State for Comprehensive Reform of Social Security and Tax). He had worked as a secretariat staff of LDP’s IT Strategic Policy Special Committee and the Parliamentary Association for Foster Care Reform (Chairman: SHIOZAKI Yasuhisa, Former Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare).
Since 2019, Shogo has been a public policy advisor for healthcare and technology at Makaira. He managed public affairs projects on, among others, advocacy for applying public insurance for digital medical devices, the planning of patient advocacy activities in the field of neurology. Shogo graduated from Keio University, and holds a Master of Medical Administration (MMA) from the Tokyo Medical and Dental University. Further, completed an executive education program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Leadership Strategies for IT in Health Care).
Ari Motomiya Art Director
Born and raised in Barcelona, Catalonia, Ari graduated in Branding from the Italian university IED (Istituto Europeo di Design) in Barcelona. In 2022, he relocated to Japan and joined MAD, Makaira’s creative division, where he currently serves as an Art Director.
With a background in brand communication, brand experience, and brand innovation, he designed international exhibition stands for Lékué in Paris and Frankfurt. He has also undertaken brand development projects for several national and international brands while working at a brand consultancy practice in Barcelona.
Ari possesses a strong passion for exploring how brands can influence social behavior and make a positive impact on society.
To further his knowledge, he pursued additional studies in Art Market Economics at Christie’s Education in London and Digital Marketing at Hyper Island in Sweden. He is fluent in English, Japanese, Catalan, and Spanish.
Kiyoko Morihara Consultant
Based on her abundant administrative experience and achievements, Kiyoko provides support with relationship establishment between startups and the public sector and policy proposals.
She has worked for 14 years in the public sector (Ministry of Internal affairs and Communications and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism), and worked planning and executing policies in a wide range of fields including broadcasting, international standardization of communications, reconstruction of the government administrative information systems, and digitalization of automobile administration.
Her last assignment in the public sector was as secretary to the Senior Vice-Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications.
She joined Makaira for the purpose of promoting innovation and solving social problems through increased collaboration between the public and private sectors, including startups and non-profit organizations.
Kiyoko graduated from Waseda University School of Political Science and Economics, and holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.
Hiroyuki Yasui Director
Hiroyuki specializes in policy research, analysis and advocacy, as well as support for formulating and implementing public communication strategies, mainly for the sharing economy and work-style reform in Japan.
After graduating from university, Hiroyuki worked at Marubeni, where he researched and analysed regulatory issues related to new business investment projects both in Japan and overseas, and established and fortified a compliance system. Fully realizing the importance of the rule-making process, he went on to join Makaira, where his responsibilities include the support of policy advocacy and relationship building / coordination with the national and local governments and NPOs, focusing on new business areas that lead to social change. Hiroyuki is highly interested in tri-sector collaboration and collective impact in which NPOs and the public and private sectors work together to solve social issues.
He graduated from Kyoto University, Faculty of Law. Director of Public Affairs of the Sharing Economy Association Japan.
Kei Yokoyama Senior Consultant
Based on abundant administrative experience and achievements, Kei provides consulting in a wide range of fields, including support for relationship establishment between startups and the public sector, as well as policy analysis and policy proposals.
Prior to joining Makaira, Kei worked in the public sector (Ministry of Internal affairs and Communications, Okayama Prefectural Government and Mie Prefectural Government) for 11 years, mainly engaged in the “Social Security and Tax Number (My Number) System” as well as local tax policy and digital transformation policy. His last assignment was Vice CDO (Chief Digital Officer) at the Mie Prefectural Government.
Kei graduated from the University of Tokyo with a Bachelor’s degree in Law and Sciences Po Paris with a Master’s degree in Regional and Urban Strategy.
Keisuke Wagatsuma Director
Born in Yamagata Prefecture in 1981. After completing graduate school, Keisuke joined the Financial Services Agency (FSA) in 2006. For the following 13 years, he was engaged in a wide range of financial administration and law making practices, with a focus on insurance administration. After leaving the FSA, he joined Accenture, where he was involved in consulting for major life insurance companies for about 2 years in product and new business development.
Through his professional experience, he became keenly aware of the importance of reducing the mismatch in perceptions between the public and private sectors, and joined Makaira in March 2022. He focuses on consulting in the financial and FinTech area, which is his specialty, and mainly provides support in areas where communication with regulatory authorities is required.
He is also a start-up manager, launching LIFESION, Inc. in April 2022, which provides life settlement services.
Graduated from Kyoto University with a Bachelor of Science, as well as PHD, and serves currently as president of LIFESION, Inc.
Hidehiro Watanabe Head, Makaira Art&Design
Head, Makaira Art&Design
Part-time Lecturer, Department of Information Society, Faculty of Human Sociology, Saitama Institute of Technology
Hidehiro focuses on sharing value with stakeholders by drawing out the essence of a company and visualizing it. He is also working on branding in domains such as CSR, social issues, and thought leadership, which relate to social values and public attitudes that are vital for companies going forward. Using this unique approach, Hidehiro has recently been involved in regional branding through the development of logomarks for Hiroshima for global Peace (from 2020) and for Chikuma City, Nagano Prefecture’s Japanese heritage site “Chikuma, City of the Moon” (from 2021).
He is also a contemporary artist and has a wealth of experience in supporting the implementation of various visual communication initiatives, including branding for a private music hall and the Tokyo Art Festival, as well as tie-up planning for a solo exhibition and store promotion at the apparel store DESIGN WORKS Ginza (2018).
Graduated from University of the Arts (USA).