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The ten best Japanese investors, listed

Masayoshi Son

Stock investing in Japan has a long and complex history. The first stock exchange in Japan, the Tokyo Stock Exchange, was established in 1878, during the Meiji period. At that time, the exchange was a small affair with only 10 members. The exchange gradually grew in size and popularity, and by the 1920s, it had become one of the largest exchanges in the world.

During World War II, the Japanese stock market was closed, and it did not reopen until 1949. In the post-war period, Japan experienced a period of rapid economic growth, known as the “Japanese economic miracle.” This period saw the emergence of some of Japan’s largest and most successful companies, including Toyota, Sony, and Hitachi. As these companies grew, so did the Japanese stock market.

During the 1980s, the Japanese stock market experienced a huge boom, fueled by the rapid economic growth and the popularity of “bubble economy” investments. However, this boom was short-lived, and the market crashed in the early 1990s. The Japanese economy has struggled to recover from this crash, and the stock market has never regained its former glory.

Despite this, Japan remains an important center of global finance and investing. Japanese investors have a reputation for being long-term and conservative, and they continue to play a significant role in the global financial system.

It’s difficult to definitively rank the ten best stock investors in Japan as there are many accomplished investors with different styles and strategies. However, here are some notable investors in Japan:

Yasuhiro Fukushima

Yasuhiro Fukushima is a prominent Japanese investor and the founder of the prominent venture capital firm, the Japan Asia Group. He was born on February 12, 1949, in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan.

Fukushima began his career as a stockbroker, working for a local securities company in Kumamoto. In 1977, he moved to Tokyo and joined Nomura Securities, one of the largest securities firms in Japan. During his time at Nomura, Fukushima focused on venture capital investments and played a key role in the company’s successful investments in a number of high-profile Japanese technology companies, including Sony and Kyocera.

In 1986, Fukushima left Nomura to found his own venture capital firm, the Japan Asia Investment Company (JAIC). JAIC quickly became one of the most successful venture capital firms in Japan, making early investments in a number of successful technology companies, including Yahoo Japan, SoftBank, and Alibaba Group.

In 2013, Fukushima stepped down as the CEO of JAIC and founded a new venture capital firm, the Japan Asia Group. The firm has continued to focus on investing in high-growth technology companies, particularly in the fields of artificial intelligence, robotics, and the Internet of Things.

Fukushima is widely regarded as one of the most influential investors in Japan and has been credited with helping to drive the country’s economic growth through his investments in technology and innovation. He has also been active in promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in Japan and has been a vocal advocate for reforming the country’s corporate culture to encourage greater risk-taking and innovation.

Akira Mori

Akira Mori is a prominent Japanese real estate developer and billionaire. He was born on January 12, 1936, in Tokyo, Japan. Mori is the founder and president of the Mori Trust, a real estate development company that he established in 1959. The company has played a major role in shaping the modern skyline of Tokyo, with numerous skyscrapers and other buildings to its credit.

Mori started his career as a building inspector for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, but he soon began to pursue his entrepreneurial ambitions. In 1959, he founded Mori Building, which became Mori Trust in 2004. Mori’s success in real estate development has made him one of the wealthiest people in Japan, with an estimated net worth of over $1.9 billion.

Some of Mori’s most notable projects include the Roppongi Hills complex, which features offices, residences, and a cinema, as well as the Ark Hills complex in central Tokyo. Mori has also been involved in numerous urban redevelopment projects, such as the revitalization of the Toranomon business district.

In addition to his business pursuits, Mori is also a noted philanthropist. He has donated large sums of money to various causes, such as disaster relief and education. Mori is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in the Japanese real estate industry, and his impact on the development of Tokyo cannot be overstated.

Masayoshi Son

Masayoshi Son is a Japanese business magnate and investor, who is the founder and CEO of SoftBank Group Corp., a multinational conglomerate holding company based in Tokyo, Japan. He was born on August 11, 1957, in Tosu, Saga Prefecture, Japan.

Son started his career in the early 1980s, selling imported personal computer software while studying at UC Berkeley. In 1981, he started SoftBank Corp., a telecommunications company that grew rapidly in the 1990s. SoftBank became a major player in the Japanese telecommunications industry with its launch of the first Japanese internet service provider, SoftBank BB Corp., in 2001.

Son is also known for his investments in technology companies, particularly in the United States. SoftBank has invested in numerous technology companies, including Yahoo! (now part of Verizon Media), Alibaba Group, and Uber Technologies, among others. In 2017, SoftBank launched the Vision Fund, a $100 billion venture capital fund focused on investing in technology companies.

Son has been named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people and has received numerous awards for his contributions to the technology industry. He is also known for his philanthropic activities, including donating $2 million to support relief efforts following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Hiroshi Mikitani

Hiroshi Mikitani is a Japanese billionaire entrepreneur and the co-founder and CEO of Rakuten, a Tokyo-based e-commerce and online retail company. He was born on March 11, 1965, in Kobe, Japan.

Mikitani attended Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo and later received an MBA from Harvard Business School. After working for various companies, he co-founded Rakuten in 1997 as an online marketplace, which has since grown to become one of the largest e-commerce companies in Japan, offering a range of services, including e-commerce, banking, credit cards, and telecommunications.

Under Mikitani’s leadership, Rakuten has expanded globally, acquiring companies such as Buy.com in the US, Priceminister in France, and Kobo, a Canadian e-reader company. In addition, he has been instrumental in expanding the company’s business portfolio, launching the Rakuten Eagles baseball team and investing in the Rakuten Institute of Technology, which focuses on research and development in areas such as artificial intelligence and blockchain technology.

Mikitani has been recognized for his contributions to the business world, receiving awards such as the EY Entrepreneur of the Year in Japan and the Asia Society’s Asia Game Changer Award. He is also known for his commitment to social causes, including disaster relief efforts, education, and the arts, and has established various charitable foundations to support these causes.

Kazuo Inamori

Kazuo Inamori is a Japanese entrepreneur and philanthropist. He was born on January 21, 1932, in Kagoshima, Japan. Inamori founded Kyocera Corporation, a multinational ceramics and electronics manufacturer, in 1959. He served as the chairman and CEO of the company until 1997, and currently serves as its honorary chairman. Under his leadership, Kyocera became one of Japan’s most successful companies, with a focus on quality and innovation.

In addition to his business career, Inamori is also known for his philosophy of “Amoeba Management,” which emphasizes teamwork, empowerment, and decentralized decision-making. He has written several books on the subject, including “A Passion for Success” and “The Amoeba Management System.”

Inamori is also a devout Buddhist and has incorporated his spiritual beliefs into his management philosophy. He founded the Inamori Foundation, which awards the prestigious Kyoto Prize, Japan’s highest private award for lifetime achievement in science, technology, and the arts. He is also a philanthropist who has donated much of his wealth to charitable causes, including education and disaster relief.

Tadashi Yanai

Tadashi Yanai is a Japanese businessman and the founder of Fast Retailing, which is the parent company of the popular fashion brand Uniqlo. He was born on February 7, 1949, in Ube, Yamaguchi, Japan. Yanai graduated from Waseda University in 1971 with a degree in economics and politics. He joined his father’s clothing retail business, which operated a small men’s clothing store in Ube, and eventually took over the management of the company.

In 1984, Yanai established Fast Retailing, which started as a men’s clothing store called “Unique Clothing Warehouse” in Hiroshima. The company went public in 1994 and expanded its business to include women’s clothing and children’s clothing. Uniqlo quickly became popular in Japan and later expanded to other countries such as China, South Korea, and the United States. As of 2021, Uniqlo has more than 2,000 stores in over 25 countries.

Yanai is known for his management style, which emphasizes teamwork, innovation, and efficiency. He is also an advocate for social issues such as sustainability and has made efforts to reduce the company’s environmental impact. In addition to his work with Fast Retailing, Yanai is also involved in various philanthropic activities. He has donated millions of dollars to education and disaster relief efforts in Japan and other countries. As of 2021, Yanai’s net worth is estimated to be around $31 billion, making him one of the wealthiest people in Japan.

Yoshiaki Murakami

Yoshiaki Murakami is a Japanese investor and former hedge fund manager. He was born on August 14, 1959, in Osaka, Japan. He is known for his aggressive investing style and for being one of the few activist investors in Japan.

Murakami began his career in the 1980s as a stockbroker, working for firms such as Nomura Securities and Salomon Brothers. In 1999, he founded his own hedge fund, the Murakami Fund, which focused on investing in undervalued Japanese companies.

Murakami gained notoriety in 2005 when he became the first person in Japan to be charged with insider trading. He was found guilty and sentenced to two years in prison, but was later released after serving only 20 months. After his release, he continued to work as an investor, but on a smaller scale.

Despite his controversial past, Murakami remains a well-respected figure in the Japanese business community and is often sought after for his insights into the country’s economy and financial markets.

Taizo Son

Taizo Son is a Japanese entrepreneur and investor. He was born on October 22, 1972, in Japan, and is the younger brother of Masayoshi Son, the founder of SoftBank. Taizo Son studied economics at the University of California, Berkeley, and worked at a Japanese advertising agency before starting his own company, which later became known as GungHo Online Entertainment.

In 2006, Taizo Son founded a startup incubator called Movida Japan, which has helped launch numerous successful companies, including Giftee, a mobile gift card service, and SmartNews, a news aggregator app. Taizo Son is also the founder and CEO of Mistletoe, a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage startups.

In addition to his work in the tech industry, Taizo Son is known for his philanthropic efforts. He has established several organizations and initiatives that focus on social issues such as education and disaster relief, including the Taizo Son Foundation, which supports education and social entrepreneurship, and the Tomodachi Initiative, which promotes cultural exchange between Japan and the United States.

Shoji Uehara

Shoji Uehara (born 1945) is a Japanese investor and entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of Nissin Shokuhin Holdings Co. Ltd., a food manufacturing and distribution company headquartered in Tokyo.

Uehara started his career as a salaryman working for a Japanese trading company. In 1972, he founded his own company, Nissin Food Products Co. Ltd., which produced and sold instant noodles. The company grew rapidly and became one of the largest food manufacturers in Japan.

In the 1990s, Uehara shifted his focus to investment, founding a private equity firm called Nissin Capital Corporation. Through this firm, he invested in a variety of businesses, including IT, biotech, and real estate companies.

Uehara has been recognized for his contributions to Japanese business and society. In 2004, he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, a prestigious honor bestowed by the Japanese government.

Shigenobu Nagamori

Shigenobu Nagamori is a Japanese entrepreneur and the founder of Nidec Corporation, a leading global manufacturer of electric motors. Born in 1944 in the Aichi Prefecture of Japan, Nagamori studied at the Osaka Institute of Technology, where he obtained a degree in electrical engineering in 1967. After working at Hitachi for several years, Nagamori founded Nidec in 1973 with just four employees and a focus on producing small electric motors for hard disk drives.

Under Nagamori’s leadership, Nidec grew rapidly and expanded into new markets, including the automotive industry and home appliances. Nagamori is known for his strong leadership and unconventional management style, which has included personally interviewing job candidates and promoting employees based on their physical fitness.

Nidec has become one of Japan’s most successful companies, with more than 100,000 employees and annual revenues of over $13 billion. Nagamori has been recognized for his contributions to business and industry with numerous awards, including the Deming Prize and the Blue Ribbon Medal from the Japanese government.


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