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Once again this year, Otsuka Pharmaceutical helped promote a healthy lifestyle in Japan by supporting Tokyo Marathon 2013. Every year since the first marathon in 2007, Otsuka Pharmaceutical supported the event, playing a part to help people who enjoy running to maintain their health.
Approximately 36,000 marathoners from around the world descended on Tokyo for the seventh annual Tokyo Marathon, which has a theme of "The Day We Unite.". And again this year, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Amino Value BCAA supplement endurance beverage was named official beverage of Tokyo Marathon 2013. Amino Value is an amino acid drink that supports an active sports life.
Top runners from around the world including 2012 defending champion Michael Kipkorir Kipyego from Kenya were among those at the starting line at 9AM. All were hoping to break the course record set by the Swiss runner Viktor Rothlin in 2008. As the athletes warmed up, volunteers were preparing refreshment stations along the marathon route, and providing supplies for use at aid stations, all amid the cold wind.
Just over two hours later at the finish line, Kenayan Dennis Kimetto beat last year's champion by six seconds to take the gold medal with a time of 2:06:50. Kimetto broke the course record and took home $120,000 for his victory at Tokyo Marathon 2013. Ethiopia's Aberu Kebede was the women's champion in 2:25:34.
Tokyo Marathon became the newest member of the esteemed World Marathon Majors series in last October, joining Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York.
Marathon applicants for the Tokyo event continue to grow each year. The number of marathon runners is capped at 35,500 and 500 slots are set aside for the 10K run, including slots for physically challenged athletes. Otsuka Pharmaceutical is proud to play a part in this major effort to promote a strong and healthy lifestyle in Japan and Otsuka's support of this most important event will only grow in years to come.
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How can corporate Japan help revitalize the economy by creating greater gender equality in the workplace?
That was the hot topic at the Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) Summit 2013 on February 22nd in Tokyo, which addresses the overall theme of reformulating the design of Japanese society for the future. While progress had been made to create a more women-friendly business atmosphere in Japan, there remains a belief that the Japanese work force will remain dominated by men. Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.'s CEO/President, Taro Iwamoto, PhD, has a different vision.
Dr. Iwamoto shared with summit participants his view that gender empowerment will not happen by waiting for systems to change. Rather, he noted that female and younger workers are uniquely positioned as change agents in Japanese culture, as they can bypass the existing systems and ways of thinking in ways that men do not.
He also noted that, "What is lacking in Japan is leadership. Rather than discussing the issues surrounding women through various individual elements, it is critical to address the overarching issue of how to promote and develop global leaders who can pursue innovation that guides the growth of society and businesses.
Otsuka Pharmaceutical has never simply followed trends or tread well-traveled paths. Dr. Iwamoto described how Otsuka seeks to extend its innovative edge and global competitiveness by placing female managers in positions of real responsibility and accountability as leaders of global teams.
Dr. Iwamoto personally, as well as the Human Resources department, mentor talented and ambitious women to fulfill Dr. Iwamoto's vision to increase women executives at Otsuka Pharmaceutical to 50% by 2020.