Otsuka Podcast

The latest news from Otsuka's global team of professionals working to create new products for better health worldwide.
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Now displaying: 2014

Welcome to Otsuka Podcast, featuring stories of change from Otsuka Pharmaceutical's global team.

Please visit us at for more stories and to see the photos and videos that accompany these episodes.

Dec 19, 2014

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Nutraceuticals are one of Otsuka Pharmaceutical's core businesses, and include products such as POCARI SWEAT and Calorie Mate that were developed based on scientific principles in order to improve people's health.

The Saga Nutraceuticals Research Institute (SNRI) (left) conducts research aimed at developing new products and creating added value for products in a wide range of situations.

At the Saga Research Center, in 2014, the 30th anniversary of its founding, the Center renovated its artificial climate chamber. The chamber's temperature and humidity can be controlled with a high level of precision, and can also be used to create a low oxygen environment.

As with "exercise and nutrition," the Center's research topics are selected with an eye towards tackling various health issues. In recent years, "women's health" has been added to the list of the Center's areas of focus.

The research has found that one of the keys to these benefits are the female hormone-like effects of equol, a product of the metabolism by intestinal bacterial of daidzein, one of the components found in soy isoflavones. Through its research into equol, Otsuka Pharmaceutical became the first in the world to identify lactic acid bacteria that could be used in food products, out of those intestinal bacteria that work to produce equol. EQUELLE is a new soy-based product that helps women maintain and enhance their health, helping them lead a sparkling life during and after the menopausal transition.

Major Research Results Reported to Date:

・Recovery of plasma volume through the consumption of ion drinks when dehydrated
・Effects on the intestinal environment of ingesting beverages containing dietary fiber
・Maintaining performance by taking BCAA before exercise
・Water replenishment during long airplane flights
・Effects of a balanced diet on brain function
・The discovery of equol-producing bacteria, and the effects of equal on menopausal women

Otsuka Pharmaceutical will continue to conduct cutting-edge research into water and nutrition replenishment in the course of people's daily activities in order to formulate new proposals that can contribute to improved health.

Since its inception in 1984, the Saga Research Center has produced a number of products based on novel concepts and information, including EQUELLE, energen, and FIBE-MINI.

For more than 30 years, the Saga Research Center has been conducting innovative research with the goal of improving people's health and providing information to people around the world.

When the Saga Research Center, which was Japan's first clinical exercise and nutrition research institute, was founded, Mr. Hitoshi Hariu (right), who was involved in the development of Calorie Mate and was a pioneer in the field of "exercise and nutrition," led the effort to found the Center, and was appointed its first director.

Mr. Hariu visited universities across Japan based on the thinking that "new fields require new people," and when the Center opened in 1984, it did so with a staff of nine.

The second director of the Center was Hideaki Kohri, Ph.D. (left), a pharmaceutical researcher. Dr. Kohri instructed the Center's researchers to travel the world and experience for themselves the ways in which people in other cultures and situations get nutrition. The Center's researchers have formulated and verified various new research hypotheses.

On the Center's thirtieth anniversary, Mr. Hitoshi Hariu said, "The strength of Otsuka Pharmaceutical's products lies not only in their image, but also in scientific evidence. I would like our researchers to continue to utilize the Center's unique environment, which encourages wide-ranging research, to develop products that are useful to people around the world."

In addition, Dr. Hideaki Kohri said, "Pharmaceutical product research is performed based on when people are at rest. However, both healthy people and patients need activities according to each person's body condition. I would like the Center to take advantage of both the knowledge that is obtained in pharmaceutical research and the experience that is gained in the real world in an attempt to answer the question ‘What kind of activities we should take, when and what type of nutrition we should take?’ to continue to conduct ground-breaking research related to sports and nutrition that can contribute to people's health."


Dec 4, 2014

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The 46th Annual Meeting of the Swiss Society of Nephrology (SSN) took place on December 4th and 5th in Interlaken, Switzerland.

Over 300 nephrologists, researchers, and nurses, including all the Swiss KOLs attended the meeting which consisted of plenary sessions, oral communications, poster sessions and satellite symposia.

New affiliate Otsuka Pharmaceutical (Switzerland) GmbH (OPCH)

was present at the meeting with one of the first ADPKD disease awareness booths in Europe.

The booth combined elements of the disease awareness campaign, market access, and PAG engagement. Also several leave pieces have been distributed and a survey on patient journey has been carried out with some of the physicians.

Attendees of the congress were highly interested to learn more about Otsuka and its engagement in ADPKD. Especially in the lunch breaks the booth was well frequented. The exchange with many attendees has shown that the awareness of ADPKD among Swiss nephrologists is very high and the unmet medical need in this disease is largely recognized.

The presence of OPCH with a disease awareness booth marks a successful milestone in the ADPKD awareness campaign. We were able to connect the unmet needs in ADPKD to the commitment of Otsuka, and position OPCH as the new player in the disease area of nephrology in Switzerland.

We are looking forward to our presence at the 2015 Swiss Nephrology Congress.

Nov 30, 2014

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The idea to have Santa visit Tohoku children affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake came when a group of students from Kanto Gakuin University visited a preschool in Kamaishi City in Iwate Prefecture. It was a summer picture book reading event to provide emotional support and relief to the children affected by the natural disaster. At the end of their visit, the children said, “When you come back, bring Santa Claus!”

Planned and implemented by the Kanto Gakuin University students in December 2011, the Santa Project was born. This was in collaboration with organizations in Finland, including the traditional choir Belcanto and Santa Claus who is officially approved by Finland’s Santa Claus Village.

Since then every year, Santa Claus from Finland visits children in various areas destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami passing out gifts to bring them holiday cheer.

The Santa Project receives funding from a wide range of Japanese companies, including Otsuka Pharmaceutical. Volunteer students as well as Otsuka Pharmaceutical employees helped package SOYJOY bars and Calorie Mate in gift bags for Santa to give the children.

The Santa Project provides emotional support and relief by promoting exchange events between survivors of the disaster, including children, and people from outside the area, to ensure that the event does not fade from memory.

Santa Project volunteers travel with disaster survivors to Okinawa and Niigata, which itself has suffered from earthquake disasters in the past, Hokkaido, and other locations in Japan to promote cultural exchange between the people in these areas and the disaster survivors.

Volunteers in the Santa Project hope that it can bring people together so that they can bring each other hope and joy, in the same way that the idea of Santa Claus brings hope and joy to children around the world.

Nov 27, 2014

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New Office Space For Creative Thinking

Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. (OAPI), and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc. (OPDC), recently put the finishing touches on a new, innovative office space in Princeton, New Jersey.

The space has been thoughtfully designed with an open floor plan that inspires creativity and facilitates everyone’s ability to connect and collaborate without barriers.

Otsuka’s Culture Reflected in Design

The unique design of the office reflects Otsuka’s culture, values, and vision. It provides employees with an optimal environment for brainstorming, camaraderie, and teamwork across the two companies.

A central, open staircase connects all four floors of the new building to encourage movement between floors and to create a sense of unity across the organization. Individual desks are arranged in a more open floor plan, creating an energizing team atmosphere.

In addition, through features such as flexible seating arrangements, meeting rooms of all sizes, open common areas, and a colorful interior décor, the unique workplace design effectively addresses Otsuka’s three main priorities: collaboration, big venture thinking, and innovation. And a large amount of natural light can be found on each of the building’s four levels, a feature that was identified by employees as very important.

Nov 27, 2014

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Nutrition & Santé Inaugurates New Factory
Expanding Production Base of the French Leader in Functional and Dietetic Foods

  • Otsuka Group member Nutrition & Santé (N&S), based in the Midi-Pyrénées region of southern France, is the French leader*1 in health and dietetic food, with a distribution network extending to more than 40 countries.
  • Easy to consume in the midst of a busy urban lifestyle, bar-type nutrition products including Milical are showing steady growth, with sales increasing by approximately 10% year-on-year. A new factory at the company’s site in Revel, France, will produce bar-type nutrition products for the European and Japanese markets.
  • Ninth production facility for the N&S Group will expand production capacity of bar-type items by 1.7 times

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Head office: Tokyo; President: Taro Iwamoto) subsidiary Nutrition & Santé (N&S; Headquarters: Revel, France) has completed construction of a new production facility at N&S Group headquarters in the Midi-Pyrénées region of France. The ninth production facility for the N&S Group, the new factory was inaugurated with a ceremony on November 20, 2014. The new factory strengthens the N&S industrial base by expanding production capacity for Milical and other bar-type nutrition products for the European and Japanese markets.

The three existing factories in Revel currently account for approximately one third of N&S production capacity, including all bar-type products. In recent years, protein bars and other diet foods that can be easily consumed in the midst of a busy urban lifestyle are growing in popularity in France, and N&S bar-type products including Milical have posted steady growth of approximately 10% year-on-year. Constructed in response to this demand, the new factory, dedicated to production of bar-type products, will expand production capacity by approximately 1.7 times. Products from the new factory will be distributed in more than 30 countries, including Japan.


Nov 18, 2014

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"Mr. Otsuka, you are a true friend of France," said Mr. Charles-Henri Brosseau, the Consul General of the French consulate in Kyoto, Japan, in fluent Japanese, to the late Chairman Akihiko Otsuka* on November 18 of last year.

The occasion was a momentous ceremony held at the Rihga Royal Hotel in Osaka to present Mr. Otsuka with the Officer Order of the Legion of Honor on behalf of the President of France.


The Order of the Legion of Honor was established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte. It is France's highest award, and is bestowed in times of peace and war on military personnel and private citizens who have made great contributions to France in areas such as culture, science, industry, business, or creativity.

Mr. Otsuka was awarded the Order for his work promoting the Japan-France relationship through his extensive business activities in France over many years.

The ceremony consisted of an awards presentation speech by Mr. Charles-Henri Brosseau and then the actual presentation of the award, followed by an acceptance speech by Mr. Otsuka.

Everyone present, including top Otsuka Group executives, offered Mr. Otsuka their heartfelt congratulations, and many congratulatory messages were sent to the ceremony by persons not in attendance.

Otsuka Holdings President, Mr. Tatsuo Higuchi, opened the banquet that was held following the awards ceremony with a toast "To Chairman Otsuka, and the continued development of the Otsuka Group".

Acceptance Speech by Chairman Akihiko Otsuka

I am deeply honored to receive, from a representative of the President of France, France's highest award, the Officer Order of the Legion of Honor. I would like to express my sincerest thanks to you all.

In our efforts to contribute to the better health of people worldwide, and to continue our evolution into an international total health care company, the Otsuka Group has been actively expanding our business in Europe.

Specifically, most of our investments in Europe have been in France, which has become an important base of operations for the Otsuka Group. We feel that we have been rewarded for energetically pursuing new business opportunities in the field of medicine and foods and beverages while retaining our respect for and desire to learn from the traditions and culture of France, in our efforts to help the citizens of France realize the universal desire of people everywhere for improved health.

Our business activities in France have played such a prominent role for the Otsuka Group thanks to the support and cooperation of many people, including the government of France, for which we are truly grateful. Thinking back on the history of our operations since their initiation in France to the present day, being chosen to receive this most honorable award fills me with emotion and gratitude.

The Otsuka Group intends to continue working to promote creative business activities and to do our utmost to maintain and improve Japan's relationship with France. It is my sincere wish that we can all continue to work together to improve this relationship, and I look forward to your further guidance and encouragement in the future. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Today has been a great honor.

Mr. Charles-Henri Brosseau's Introductory Remarks (excerpted)

I am honored to stand before you today to present the Officer Order of the Legion of Honor to Mr. Akihiko Otsuka, a leading Japanese industrialist and international businessman – and a close friend of France.

Mr. Otsuka's company was founded in 1921 in Tokushima, Japan, and is now one of the most prominent business groups in Japan in the fields of pharmaceuticals, nutrition, and cosmetics.

Mr. Otsuka joined the company in 1960. After holding various positions at Otsuka Group companies, he became the President of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. in 1976, and in 2008 was appointed the Chairman and CEO of Otsuka Holdings. 2008 was an important year for the relationship between France and the Otsuka Group, as this was the year that Otsuka Pharmaceutical acquired Nutrition et Santé and Alma.

The Otsuka Group has made considerable contributions to France's economy and has created many jobs in France. Thanks to Mr. Otsuka, the Otsuka Group has strengthened its French operations, and the Otsuka Group currently employs close to 2500 people in France and is among the leading Japanese investors in France.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical's French subsidiary, which markets human pharmaceuticals in France, had only 10 employees when it was founded in 2004, but it now employs eight times that many. In 2006, Otsuka's Abilify received the Prix Galien award, which is given for the development of a pharmaceutical product with groundbreaking therapeutic efficacy. Nutrition et Santé, which was acquired by Otsuka Pharmaceutical in this same year, manufactures functional and nutritional food products.

I would like to take this opportunity to once again praise the special relationship France has with the Otsuka Group, a relationship that has resulted in many past success stories, and one that I have no doubt will lead to many successes in the future as well.

Mr. Otsuka, you are a true friend of France. This is evident from the Otsuka Group’s enthusiasm for participating in events held by the French Embassy. Otsuka Group senior management has made every effort to forge solid, high-level relationships with French government officials, including the French Ambassador to Japan and officials at the Invest In France Agency.

Through the partnership the Otsuka Group has created with French industry, Mr. Otsuka has emphasized two things that the peoples of both of our countries have in common: finding value in work, and the enjoyment of life.

The government of France would like to express its gratitude for all the hard work of every Otsuka employee, for your actions as the head of the company, and for the contributions that you have made to foster the relationship between our two countries. Mr. Otsuka, on behalf of the President of France, I hereby award you the Officer Order of the Legion of Honor.


Nov 5, 2014

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Otsuka Pharmaceutical's dry eye magazine advertising campaign was awarded the first-place prize in the "Tie-in Campaign – Cosmetics" category of the 57th Japan Magazine Advertising Association Award.

The theme of the campaign was “凸凹Eye” which means bumpy surfaced eyes. It focused on "The Eyes of Craftspeople," something for which Japan is renowned for, in order to make it easy to understand that the condition called dry eye is a disease that does not result simply in dry eyes, but caused by the mucosal abnormality on the surface of the eye and making it bumpy.

The campaign featured segments on the eyes of active female professionals, along with explanations from ophthalmologists, and ran in magazines with a predominantly middle-aged female readership, a group that is particularly prone to developing dry eye.

Otsuka executive Yoshiko Wakana of the Dermatologicals & Ophthalmologicals Sales Department attended the awards ceremony, which was held in Tokyo on November 5, 2014.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical conducted an educational campaign on dry eye in various media, including this magazine advertising campaign, internet sites, and television programs.

Ms. Wakana said, "I would like to help as many patients who are suffering from dry eye as possible, by providing them with both safe and effective medicines and with high-quality information."

Nov 1, 2014

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Dr. Gregory Fox from Sydney, Australia was presented the Young Innovator in Tuberculosis Research Award sponsored by Otsuka during the 46th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Cape Town, South Africa in December 2015.

Dr. Fox is an Australian respiratory physician and recipient of the CJ Martin Fellowship from the Australian Government. His research focuses on TB case-finding and multidrug-resistant TB in high-burden settings. Dr. Fox was the foundation country director of the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research in Vietnam from 2009 to 2013. During that period, in partnership with the Vietnam National TB Program, he implemented a randomized controlled trial (the ACT2 study), screening over 25,000 people for TB.

The project was innovative in its use of randomized controlled trial methodology and electronic tools that were developed especially for the trial and are scalable. Additionally, the project demonstrated the feasibility of centrally coordinated tracing of everyone who has come in contact with a person diagnosed with TB. Currently, Dr. Fox is an investigator on several ongoing public health and clinical studies of TB screening and prevention in Vietnam. He also works as a respiratory physician at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, Australia.

Encouraging Young Researchers for the Continuation of Actions Against TB

The Young Innovator in TB Research Award was established through a global partnership between Otsuka Pharmaceutical and The Union. The award is administered by The Union with a grant provided by Otsuka. Award recipients are selected by a panel of experts organised independently by The Union.

The purpose of the award is to stimulate the advancement of innovative approaches in TB control and patient care. The award is open to young clinicians who have documented achievements in the formulation and implementation of clinical and operational research in the field of TB or multidrug-resistant TB.

Oct 14, 2014

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The Brazilian Health Food Company

On August 29, 2014, leading Brazilian health food company Jasmine joined the Otsuka Pharmaceutical group of companies. Jasmine’s head office and main plant are located in Curitiba, a city of three million people in Southern Brazil.

In 1990, Mr. Christophe Allain and his wife Rosa established Jasmine which today has become the leading health food company in Brazil.

But who is Christophe and why did he create Jasmine?

Christophe is the son of European immigrants who arrived in Brazil in the sixties when he was 10 years old. After having worked as a teacher, carpenter and in some multinational companies, Christophe, then 19 years old started his journey studying and practicing macrobiotics and oriental medicine principles, as a student of the great leader and philosopher Mr. Kikuchi Tomio, learning how food has so much influence in every one’s health. Ever since, Christophe continues to practice the principles of macrobiotics, and he still eats brown rice, miso soup and tofu at home, showing his example of healthy living.

The beginning of the business happened in an unpretentious way in the 70’s, when Christophe and his wife Rosa started to cook their own macrobiotic food at home and soon were surround by friends who enjoyed having such a delicious and healthy diet. This eventually led to the initiative of opening one of the first macrobiotic restaurants in Brazil, in Campinas near São Paulo.

Later on, in 1990 Mr. Christophe decided to start a new business, Jasmine , where he could be consistent with his philosophy of healthy food as a nutritional catalyst in transforming people´s life quality, and offer healthy food to the larger community.

Beginning with products such as brown rice, subsequently the company expanded to include many other items such as biscuits and granolas, producing and supplying a wide range of whole grain and organic products to suit the Brazilian consumers.

Twenty-five years later, Jasmine has become a reference for the health, organic and functional food industry in Brazil.

Jasmine’s main principle is to share the seeds of healthy eating habits, as we believe that eating well is living well. Thus the moto: “Coma bem, viva bem” means exactly this: “Eat well, live well”.

More than just healthy food, in addition to the functional benefits, Jasmine wants to motivate a life style change. That is why it seeks to offer products totally focused on providing health, pleasure, beauty and well-being. Therefore, you can say, Jasmine’s values reflect the philosophy and values of the company founder Christophe, who will continue to head the company’s management team.

The new partnership with Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, will help Jasmine share the philosophy and benefits of healthy and functional products for a greater number of people in Brazil and abroad.


Oct 14, 2014

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Japanese experts were invited to address key industry issues of Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme (PIC/S) and the developmental trend of biomedicine to provide Korean pharmaceutical companies with helpful information on chemistry, manufacturing and control (CMC) in drug development.

This is the 5th time Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare and Otsuka Pharmaceutical have sponsored “Korea Drug Research Academy-OTSUKA CMC ACADEMY”. Each year about 100 trainees attend this program.

This year, Mr. Kunio Kawamura, advisor of Japan’s Otsuka Pharmaceutical, emphasized that the mission of PIC/S was to establish the harmonized global standard in the inspection field work.

He said, “All of the partnered countries would follow uniform guidelines in giving approval, so that they can maintain a high quality of monitoring.”

Companies definitely benefit by joining PIC/S as they reduce duplicated inspection when exporting to multiple countries such as the US and Japan, and, thus, save on related costs.

Mr. Kawamura said, “Member countries should cooperate in order to minimize duplicated inspections. And more countries should join PIC/S, develop information sharing systems and communicate more actively to facilitate imports and exports.”

Oct 9, 2014

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Why was Otsuka awarded the Nakai Prize?

The tablet printing device developed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. was considered a revolutionary innovation because it made it possible to print clearly on uncoated tablets, including orally disintegrating tablets, which have been difficult to print on using conventional techniques.

The dramatic improvement in tablet identification made possible by this printing technology has satisfied a considerable unmet need of medical professionals and patients, and has contributed greatly to improved treatment adherence.

What is Nakai Prize?

In 2001, the Japan Society of Pharmaceutical Machinery and Engineering established the Nakai Prize, which is named after Yoshinobu Nakai, the first chairperson of the JSPME, in order to honor the achievements of individuals or groups who have made considerable contributions to the development of pharmaceutical machinery technology.

The Nakai Prize is awarded for achievements in either software or hardware that are judged to contribute greatly to the development and advancement of pharmaceutical machinery technology.


Oct 2, 2014

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On October 2nd, the Minister of Women Empowerment and Child Protection Mrs. Linda Amalia Sari Gumelar, visited Kejayan Plant that manufactures POCARI SWEAT to observe Rumah Belajar (Learning Centre) Satu Hati Cerdaskan Bangsa.

Up to date, Otsuka Pharmaceutical has over 2,500 employees in Indonesia and has been actively promoting children’s education as well as empowering female employees such as by providing a lactation room where mothers can pump and save their breast milk to bring home to their babies and daycare programs.

Employing people from diverse cultural background and providing a lactation room really touched the minister’s heart. She also praised the work done for children’s education at the plant. The learning center in the factory features a Satu Hati School that is held once a week, where employees take turns providing after-school tutoring in Math and English.

“Getting a proper education and be able to enjoy their childhood without exploitation by adults is the right of every child. In addition, it is important for us to pay attention to the process of development of the child.

Families have the greatest role in shaping the character of children”, said Minister Gumelar at the Diversity Hall of Kejayan Factory, Pasuruan, Indonesia.

Oct 1, 2014

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Women’s International Networking (WIN)

A team of 13 delegates from Otsuka Europe attended the Women’s International Networking (WIN) Conference in Berlin from the 1st – 4th October. The Otsuka team joined 750 people from several leading organizations around the world, helping us to imagine what it would be like to work in an environment without diversity and inclusion and asking the question: ‘would this be a place that you would like to work?’

It’s not just about women, it’s about all employees looking at why you come to work every day

WIN was set up to empower and connect both female and male leaders from around the world and to listen to and reflect the desires of the modern workforce and companies of the future. It provides a platform and an environment aimed to help individuals and organizations move forward, realize their potential and focus on each person’s contribution.

Diversity will be part of Otsuka Europe’s agenda in 2015

With this in mind Otsuka has sponsored this year’s event, which has given us an opportunity to raise our brand awareness in Europe and enable us to use it as a platform for a range of initiatives next year. Hundreds of delegates visited the Otsuka stand, which featured a branded pull-up banner, a TV screen showing the Otsuka ‘Globalization’ animation, and 750 EU Business Overview brochures were included in the delegate packs.

Ms. Tracey Upton, VP of Human Resources says, “Otsuka is keen to increase its presence in the wellness and diversity arena and saw WIN as an opportunity to gain insight into what other companies are doing.”

Otsuka delegates were selected from across the European organization and tasked with speaking to a number of companies to find out how they are embracing diversity within their own business and bring ideas back to Otsuka for debate.

“Otsuka has a culture of inclusion, employing people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Opportunities are given to capable people regardless of their gender, it is how you tackle the challenges that counts. Giving employees the chance to attend an event like WIN reinforces the company’s commitment to diversity and key learnings can be cascaded through the organization,” says Ms. Ali Ross Head of EU Communications.

Ms. Heidi McNeill, Marketing Manager - CNS shares, “This is an amazing opportunity to engage with inspiring people from different countries and different industries.”

During the three day event, delegates had the opportunity to attend workshops, seminars and networking events. Besides Otsuka, exhibitors included brands such as Coca-Cola, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Shell, Unilever and Volvo. Everyone left Berlin feeling energized and ready to develop a plan that will enable us to continue our own journey to remain a company that celebrates diversity.


Sep 30, 2014

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Discussion among Japanese and American female leaders

Otsuka Pharmaceutical’s Senior Operating Officer, Ms. Akiko Ryu Innes-Taylor was one of the panelists invited to speak at a symposium to further the idea of nurturing women leadership and diversity in the science and energy fields. The event provided an opportunity for American and Japanese women in leadership positions to compare and contrast diversity and promotion policies and share experiences on leading change to build skilled, diverse workforces.

U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, who is the first female U.S. Ambassador to Japan said in her opening speech that such conversations are important to encourage children, especially girls, from a young age to explore sciences,

“Many hard problems facing our world today need creative ideas from policy makers, engineers, and scientists: clean energy to power our homes and our economy, new medicines to fight disease and ease suffering, and better farming methods to end world hunger. If we want to reach our goals in these areas, we need the best energies and skills of women and men, working together.”

Having the largest gender gap in the world*, in Japan forty percent of Japanese women do not work, a much higher number than other developed countries.

In response to a question from the audience on how to navigate a society that is dominated by men, Ms. Innes-Taylor shared that women must win both men and women allies to fight for their causes. “Finding something you are passionate and curious about is important. And just as important is to find a partner who supports your career. To succeed, you need help, one cannot do it on her own.”

Otsuka Pharmaceutical opened two day care centers for its employees, as shortage of day care spots and long waiting lists have discouraged many women in rejoining the workforce after giving birth.

Because workplace environments that encourage diversity and create leadership opportunities for male and female employees are important for Japan’s continuing economic recovery, many attendees found the symposium to be helpful to connect people who want to see change in Japan.

Sep 26, 2014

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As part of Pharmavite’s overall strategy to educate future pharmacy graduates and their educators on the importance of dietary supplements, Pharmavite invited students and faculty from Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy to attend a seminar on dietary supplements at the company’s Opelika, Alabama facility in September.

The Harrison School of Pharmacy is the largest Pharmacy School in the State of Alabama. The educational visit included an in-depth look at Pharmavite’s history as a leading manufacturer of high quality vitamins, minerals and supplements, plus an extensive tour of the company’s state of the art Opelika facility.

At the seminar, the university guests learned about Pharmavite’s stringent manufacturing process, including ways the company exceeds industry standards. The guests also left with a better understanding of the United States regulatory framework for supplement manufacturing and marketing.

The seminar was a tremendous success. In a post-visit survey, the students reported: “An increased understanding of how quality vitamins are manufactured,” as well as “Understanding of the additional steps that Pharmavite takes to manufacture high quality vitamins.”

Participants also thanked Pharmavite for the educational opportunity indicating they were very impressed with the facility and knowledgeable staff and would recommend future events to other students. Based on the seminar’s success, Pharmavite looks forward to hosting more students on tours in the future.

Aug 29, 2014

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Taiwan's Minister of Health and Welfare, Dr. Wen-ta Chiu, kicked off Otsuka Taiwan Pharmaceutical’s 40th Anniversary celebration with a message of congratulations. He gave an overview of the company’s contribution to the history of medical therapies in Taiwan since it was first established in 1974. Dr. Chiu also mentioned of the development of Taita solutions, therapeutic agents launched since the 1980s such as Meptin and Mikelan, and then Pletaal, Abilify and Samsca, and PIC/S GMP certification of the Chungli factory in 2010.

The event held at Regent Taipei Hotel was attended by a total of 85 guests, including Mr. Ichiro Otsuka, Vice Chairman of Otsuka Holdings and representatives from Taiwan's Ministry of Health and Welfare, Otsuka group companies, Taiwanese corporations, Taiwanese shareholders and former Taiwan Otsuka management.

Taiwan Otsuka Pharmaceutical was established as a pioneer in the Asian market on August 30 1974 during Japan’s oil crisis, at a time when the world was also in the grip of recession. At the time, significant growth was forecast for the Asian market.

The factory started production in 1976, and the business went into full swing in July. The Taiwanese market environment has seen remarkable change, both stable and ongoing.

The sales division currently has specialist medical representatives in the three areas of therapeutic drugs, CNS drugs and parenteral nutrition, and the company has expanded to employ 180 staff, including factory employees.

Taiwan Otsuka Pharmaceutical, by providing innovative drugs and information, has made an ongoing contribution to the health and medical treatment of people in Taiwan. All employees are making a collective effort to use this 40th anniversary as a springboard to the future, striving for even greater development.

Aug 12, 2014

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As part of Obon Festival held on August 12 – 15, each year Japan’s largest Awa Dance Festival is held in Tokushima, where Otsuka was founded. The 100-strong Otsuka Ren has Otsuka Pharmaceutical employees from Japan and overseas and from all ranks.

New hires and those who have been with the company for decades all join together and practice for months in various locations before coming together to perform as one.

Each year, Awa Dance instructors come up with different formations for the dancers to perform.

The 400-year old traditional Awa Dance performance brings well over 1.23 million spectators from all over Japan and overseas each year to the tiny Tokushima town of 700,000 population.

Otsuka Ren dancers are accompanied by its own musicians (who are also Otsuka employees), playing Japanese bells, flutes, shamisens, and taiko drums as they dance in front of thousands of spectators.

Jul 16, 2014

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In 1983, Dr. Youichi Yabuuchi was appointed head of research and development for new drugs at Otsuka Pharmaceutical. During that same period, researchers from South Korea’s Dong-A Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. were first welcomed as interns at Otsuka under the guidance of president Akihiko Otsuka.

Importance of Japan/South Korean relationship

Five researchers studied at Otsuka up to 1991 including Mr. Won-Bae Kim, who is now the therapeutic division vice chairman of Dong-A, and also Mr. Young-Moon Choi, who is now with the US FDA. This was the beginning of Otsuka’s association with Korean pharmaceutical companies.

A total of 27 researchers studied in Japan over five years from 1991, honing the drug-development capabilities of Korean companies through the introduction of Korea Drug Research Association (KDRA).

Almost all KDRA members are company presidents or lab directors who are at the forefront of wide-ranging new drug development initiatives in South Korea.

In addition to providing advanced technological tutelage for promoting new drug development in South Korea, Otsuka also strived to encourage cultural exchanges for building stronger ties between the two countries. Otsuka’s efforts helped lay the foundations for active new drug research and development in South Korea.

The presentation of the appreciation plaque to Dr. Yabuuchi is based on this background. We hope that this ongoing relationship will contribute even more strongly to the advancement of pharmaceuticals research and the industry as a whole in both countries.

“In the long run, it is vital that a company expands at a steady pace in keeping with the realities it must contend with,”

said Dr. Yoichi Yabuuchi when he accepted the appreciation plaque.

Jun 14, 2014

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Otsuka Pharmaceutical Germany’s ‘Look closer’ hyponatremia awareness campaign was honored with the Astrid Award, a design prize for Outstanding Achievement in Design Communications.

The Astrid Awards, established 25 years ago, celebrate and reward the best international design communications in healthcare. The international Astrid Awards program received nearly 550 entries from around the world and Otsuka won Bronze.

The campaign is targeted at Healthcare Professionals in Germany. It was developed to create awareness for hyponatremia and to work on the paradigm shift in hospitals to make physicians aware of the disease and to ensure that patients get the best treatment for hyponatremia.

A chameleon has been chosen as image of the campaign as it also changes appearance, can hide, and cannot easily be seen sometimes, so you have to take a closer look to find it. The same is valid for hyponatremia. With that eye-catcher we want to draw the attention of the physician to the disease.

“I was very proud and happy that we won the award. As a company that provides the only approved treatment for hyponatremia secondary to SIADH (syndrome of inappropriate anti-diuretic hormone secretion) in Europe, we have to constantly work on raising awareness of this condition. So physicians recognize hyponatremia, see the patients, and are able to treat these patients in the best possible way,” said Kristina Saala, Marketing Manager - Specialty Products, Otsuka Pharma GmbH.

Patients with hyponatremia secondary to SIADH have a water overload, so they are often “treated” with fluid restriction. They are sometimes only allowed to drink only 500 ml per day, which is a real torture. With our innovative drug, patients are allowed to freely and partly drink according to their thirst. And as this, an Otsuka creative oral drug, is a Vasopressin receptor antagonist, it induces aquaresis, so the patients lose the overload of water. It is worth working every day to create awareness, so that patients will receive the best, modern treatment. We believe the design of the chameleon shows the valuable change of innovative therapy to patients with hyponatremia.

Jun 8, 2014

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June 9th as “Worldwide Appreciation Day”

For five years Japanese calligraphy artist, Mr. Souun Takeda (right), has been organizing a “Kansha-no-hi”, a day to say “thank you”.

Master Takeda held annual events in hopes that “Kansha Day” will become a worldwide holiday when everyone, like family and friends, uses the day to show appreciation to one another. He explained that the numbers 6 and 9 represent “yin and yang” like “light and shadow” and it is his hope that on June 9th, these elements would come together in perfect harmony.

This year, hundreds of people gathered in Enoshima on June 8th, a Sunday, where different booths offered various ways for people to show appreciation to others. Master Takeda participated in using his calligraphy skills to write thank you messages for visitors. He also visited our booth and promoted the event.

Saying “Thank You” Through POCARI SWEAT

Matching the hot summery weather, Otsuka Pharmaceutical introduced POCARI SWEAT ION WATER to the visitors at the booth. As the theme is to be grateful for health, attendees were reminded to rehydrate.

POCARI SWEAT ION WATER gave out original thank you cards for people to write personal messages of appreciation, and then have them attached to POCARI SWEAT ION WATER bottles. And these were used as gifts to replenish fluid and ions for people important to those who attended the event.

Throughout the day people of all age groups, including couples, children and families, stopped by the booth, wrote their unique thank you messages. Those messages were for their families’ health, that live far away. Attendees also told us this event made them grateful for their own good health, and that it is due to the support of the people around them that they can achieve it.

Jun 1, 2014

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Oronine – Launched From Tokushima in 1953

“I burned myself on the teapot.” “Put Oronine on it.”
“I fell down and skinned my knee.” “There’s Oronine in the medicine cabinet.”
If you are Japanese, this probably sounds familiar, bringing you back to your days as a child, when cuts and scrapes were a near-daily occurrence.

“Oronine Ointment,” the medicine mentioned in so many such households, was born in a small pharmaceutical factory in Naruto City in Tokushima Prefecture.

How Oronine Ointment got its start

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory, Inc. founded by Busaburo Otsuka in 1921, made bulk ingredients for the pharmaceutical industry using magnesium chloride obtained from the salt industry in Naruto. After the end of the war, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory started manufacturing not only bulk materials, but also its own pharmaceutical products – solutions for injection for medical use – and expanded the scale of its operations.

However, it was clear that, with injection solutions and distilled water as Otsuka’s only branded products, business would be much tougher after the demand caused by the Korean War ended.
Mr. Masahito Otsuka, who had originally joined his father’s business as the eleventh employee, took the helm of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory in 1947, and was struggling to develop new products when he heard about something from Mitsui & Co. An American company, Oronite Chemical, had discovered a new antibacterial agent; what about trying to make a product using that?

But what could it be used in?

Masahito thought of ointments. At the time, the over-the-counter drugs Mentholatum (“Menturm” in Japan) and penicillin ointments were hit products, and Masahito thought that sales would be more stable with these kinds of products.

Masahito asked three professors at Tokushima University to develop a product for Otsuka. The new product was ready for sale in 1952, and was marketed the following year, in 1953. Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory’s long-awaited first original product was christened “Oronine Ointment,” after the name of the company that manufactured the raw material.

Bold Marketing Strategy

Oronine Ointment was therefore the result of a joint collaboration between industry and academia. However, unlike the products marketed by large pharmaceutical companies, brand recognition was poor – at first. Otsuka therefore engaged in various sales and promotion activities in order to teach people about Oronine and get them to use it.

For example, in the year it was launched, Otsuka announced in an informational newsletter targeted at hospitals, the “Otsuka Pharmaceutical News,” that Otsuka was holding a “Miss Nurse Contest.”

Then, the following year, Otsuka sent a marketing truck on a nationwide tour, something that was extremely rare at the time. During the first year, Otsuka’s president traveled for 26 days out of every month, visiting major hospitals across the nation, relentlessly promoting Otsuka’s first original over-the-counter medicine. Sales grew steadily, reaching 30 million yen a month, but then plateaued.

Otsuka also began hearing complaints from customers saying they didn’t like the way it smelled.
To solve the problem of flattening sales, Otsuka came up with a plan to give test sample packets containing 2.5 g of ointment to children in kindergartens and elementary schools nationwide.*1
This was an unprecedentedly bold move for the time.

The formula was also modified to eliminate the unfavorable smell and this, combined with the free sample distribution strategy, the initial outlay for which exceeded sales, was successful: from 1957 on, sales of “Oronine Ointment” resumed their rapid rise.

Masahito said that “The best form of promotion is the product itself; if the product is used just once, that is more effective than ten advertisements.” This one move turned a crisis into an opportunity.

Marketing – Communicating the Brand

In addition to the promotion of sales to hospitals and the marketing truck and free sample distribution campaigns, Otsuka also marketed Oronine Ointment aggressively in the media.

Otsuka placed advertisements in newspapers and magazines, and enlisted Keiji Sada and Keiko Kishi, who had starred in the movie version of the radio drama “Your Name Is,” which was hugely popular at the time, to sell Oronine using the catch phrase “Your Name Is Oronine.”

In the radio program “Daimaru Racket – Humorous Street Recordings,” a Japanese stand-up comedy duo who performed using the stage names Nakata Daimaru and Nakata Racket made audiences laugh with a clever back-and-forth comedy routine about Oronine.

1953, the year Oronine Ointment was launched, was also the year that television broadcasting started in Japan. The first television commercials were broadcast live by performers during the programs.

Then, starting in 1963, Otsuka advertised Oronine using enamel billboards. These were put up by salesmen as part of their job, and are now greatly prized by collectors.

In 2003, the 50th anniversary of Oronine’s market launch, Otsuka sold a limited quantity of Oronine Ointment in 50th anniversary commemorative packaging, and also sold “Oronine Sanitizer,” a spray-type sanitizer that was the first new Oronine product in 50 years.

In 2013, different ways of usage was reflected by a new campaign that showed 100 different photos and videos of how people can use Oronine Ointment which can be found here.

A survey of current Oronine users revealed that the most common age of first purchase is among buyers in their 20's to 30's, and the most common reason for purchase is for treatment of wounds. Based on that, the latest ads show the portability and versatility of the 10g size and presented on the web, a medium on which these active people spend time.

May 31, 2014

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For the fifth straight year Otsuka Pharmaceutical has supported TEDxTokyo, an event held at Hikarie Square in the Shibuya district of Tokyo.

TED, an acronym for “Technology,” “Entertainment,” and “Design,” provides a forum for individuals at the forefront of these three fields to come together to share innovative and creative ideas ~ “ideas worth spreading”.

TED started in the United States in 1984, and has spread to more than 140 countries around the world. The presentations given at the TED gatherings have been recorded and made available free of charge at the TED web site, and these “TED Talks” have been watched more than one billion times worldwide. In Japan, NHK has shown TED talks on a program called “Super Presentation,” which has drawn considerable interest.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical, which places a premium on creativity, and on the development and promotion of original products, immediately identified with the TED concept.

This year, in collaboration with TEDxTokyo members, Otsuka created an animated short based on the theme of “globalization” that gave a brief overview of the company.

At Otsuka’s booth on the day of TEDxTokyo, Otsuka showed the animation on monitors and displayed the illustrations that were used to produce it. A select few Otsuka products, such as SOYJOY and POCARI SWEAT ION WATER, were passed out in order to introduce attendees to Otsuka’s philosophy and international scope.

The animated short told the story of Otsuka’s ongoing efforts to develop and promote innovative products, based on Otsuka’s corporate philosophy, “Otsuka – people creating new products for better health worldwide,” reflecting the company’s belief that health is borderless.

From 1973, the year of the founding of Otsuka Thailand, Otsuka Pharmaceutical has been expanding internationally. In the 1980s, Otsuka Pharmaceutical was the first Japanese pharmaceutical company to establish research and development bases in America. This marked the true beginning of our globalization.

Employees based outside Japan now account for 70% of Otsuka’s workforce, and Otsuka markets products in more than 80 countries around the world. Otsuka’s animated short, which is less than four minutes long, tells the story of Otsuka Pharmaceutical’s journey to the present, and of the various milestones that were passed along the way.

At this year’s TEDxTokyo, more than 25 presenters spoke or gave performances focusing on this year’s theme, “Connecting the Unconnected.”

May 31, 2014

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The Forum is a newly formed group of physicians and advocates in Europe dedicated to improving the health and quality of life of people with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). The formation of the European ADPKD Forum (abbreviated as EAF) coincided with the 51st European Renal Association-European Dialysis and Transplant Association Congress that was held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The Forum is supported by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Europe Ltd.

The original seeds of Otsuka’s engagement on ADPKD can be traced back to research done at Otsuka labs in Tokushima, Japan in the late 1980s on vasopressin, a hormone that increases water reabsorption in the kidneys. Otsuka shared the findings with university-based researchers around the world, and subsequent R&D has created significant scientific insights into ADPKD.

The EAF initiative is co-chaired by Tess Harris, President of PKD International, and Dr. Richard Sanford, Consultant Clinical Geneticist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, UK.

Tess Harris (left), EAF co-chair and ADPKD patient commented: “ADPKD places a great emotional and physical strain on people with the condition and their families. ADPKD patients experience a diminished and sometimes impoverished quality of life and are at risk of dying prematurely. Healthcare professionals and the wider public simply aren’t as aware of ADPKD as they should be and this must be urgently addressed. The EAF initiative will do this by identifying areas for improvement in care inequalities and by establishing a framework in which expertise and learnings can be shared to tackle the ongoing concerns faced by the ADPKD patient and care-giving community throughout Europe.”

The EAF is currently developing an expert report that will feature new evidence from the largest-ever survey of ADPKD patients. The report will draw attention to the emotional and physical burdens of living with the disease, as well as explore the potential barriers to the development of innovative treatments for ADPKD.

“This EAF report will provide the most robust overview yet of the wide-ranging impact of ADPKD, how health services are currently set up to meet this challenge, and what changes are needed to improve care development and delivery,” says Dr Richard Sandford. The EAF report will be published in late 2014.

The co-chairs and faculty of the EAF do not receive fees for their roles in the initiative and the opinions expressed in EAF publications are solely their own and are not necessarily shared by Otsuka.

The EAF initiative aims to:

  • •Increase awareness of the impacts of ADPKD on patients and health services
  • •Recommend health policy strategies to improve ADPKD care, based on the latest scientific
    evidence and expert insight
  • •Encourage and facilitate collaboration between the individuals and groups involved in the care
    and support of people with ADPKD.

What is ADPKD?

 ADPKD is a disease arising from one of two possible genetic mutations in which innumerable cysts (sacs in which fluid accumulates) form in the kidney, leading to gradual diminution of renal function. In most cases symptoms begin to show up in the third or fourth decade of life in the form of complaints such as blood in the urine, abdominal or low back pain, and abdominal distention. Also, hypertension may occur before the damage done to the kidneys by ADPKD becomes apparent.

 Approximately. 50% of ADPKD patients experience end-stage renal disease by age 59 and 75% reach ESRD by age 70. The disease occurs relatively frequently among genetic disorders and approximately 200,000 people have been diagnosed with ADPKD in Europe, 120,000 in the U.S. and 30,000 in Japan.

May 16, 2014

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China Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory Celebrated its 30th Birthday

China Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (COP) was established as the first foreign pharmaceutical joint venture after China’s reform and opening-up policies were implemented in 1978. The aim was to contribute to the development of localized medical services, which upheld Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. Chairman Akihiko Otsuka’s philosophy of contributing to medical fields at a local level.

In every challenge, you contribute with a focus on patients

At the celebration in Tianjin, China, on May 16th 2014, Otsuka Holdings Co., Ltd. Vice President Ichiro Otsuka’s speech was especially encouraging.

“To be honest, I feel the relationship between China and Japan is not so good. However, I think we should focus on the patients with the same mindset that we use to contribute to the advancement of medical care in China. Hopefully, the company could become one of the bridges to improve Japan-China relations in the future. Recently, when I think about how things will be in the 22nd century, people may ask ‘which healthcare maker most contributed to the 21th century?’ I hope to hear the answer, ‘Isn’t it the Otsuka group?’ I hope for the same in China, I hope China Otsuka Pharmaceutical will be the company with the most contributions to the clinical nutrition of China. I heard that you will challenge various fields, not limited to only I.V., so I hope that in every challenge, you contribute with a focus on patients.”

China Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (COP) has led profound changes in China’s I.V. industry

COP president Mr. Haichun Gao gave a presentation to guests showing the development of the company over the last 30 years, describing the four aspects of company history, social values, social responsibility, and his future vision. Whether it is production quality, technology, or marketing strategy, when it comes to the idea of safe I.V. products, COP has led profound changes in China’s I.V. industry. President Gao expressed thanks for the effort and support from the government, shareholders, the Otsuka group, and all employees.

Award of Founding Fathers

COP chairman Mr. Zhixin Li issued the “Award of Founding Fathers” to Mr. Akihiko Otsuka which was accepted by his son, Mr. Ichiro Otsuka on his behalf.

Understanding the present by reviewing the past (温故知新) in an age of complex Japan-China relations, we need to review the message from Mr. Akihiko Otsuka in 1986: “Without lasting peace, there can be no future. All citizens must consider this issue together. Every citizen should do their best to develop a deep, mutual understanding with the people of other countries. We should help the Chinese understand the Japanese through China Otsuka’s business. The success of China Otsuka will encourage more Japanese companies to invest in China, and then we will have more chances for mutual understanding to contribute to lasting peace.”

Nearly 300 people attended the celebration in Tianjin, China, including board members and Old Boys who witnessed the development of the company, as well as the presidents of Otsuka affiliates in China. The list of guests included Mr. Ichiro Otsuka; Mr. Meguru Kajiwara, executive managing director of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory; Mr. Takaharu Imai, senior managing director of Otsuka International Asia & Arab; Mr. Dae-sik Eom, senior managing director of Otsuka International Asia & Arab.

The ceremony was held in the lecture hall of the multifunction building and led by Mr. Zhixin Li. The Vice President of Sinopharm (a major stakeholder) Mr. Zenghe Dong said in his speech to the audience, “China Otsuka Pharmaceutical contributed to medical service in China over the years to have enhanced overall levels of China I.V. by its high quality products.” Chairman of Tianjin Pharmaceutical (another major stakeholder) Mr. Jianjin Zhang also affirmed a strong sense of social values and the good momentum of corporate development.


Reports of intravenous fluid supplies breaking in their glass bottles on the way to aid those affected by the Tangshan Earthquake of 1976 moved Mr. Akihiko Otsuka deeply, which led him to respond the Tianjin government’s approach which was seeking an overseas partner for the manufacture of I.V. fluids at the time. After several visits and discussions, Otsuka Pharmaceutical and China Pharmaceutical Industry Company signed a joint venture contract officially in 1980, establishing the first Sino-Japanese joint venture after diplomatic relations were restored in 1978.

China Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. held its first Founder’s general assembly during its first board meeting in February 1981. After 4 years of construction and preparation, the Tianjin factory was completed and began operations in April 1984. Three decades have passed in a seemingly short span for COP. Its 30th anniversary was a proud and memorable moment for the company.


May 15, 2014

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POCARI SWEAT is set to becoming the first beverage to land on the moon

The “LUNAR DREAM CAPSULE PROJECT” is an attempt to land a probe on the moon surface for the first time solely by the efforts of private companies. We have entered an era where space travel, which used to be only feasible at the national project level, can be handled by private companies.

The goal is not to just send a drink to the moon. The objective of this project is to inspire young people who become interested in the moon or outer space through this project to go and retrieve the DREAM CAPSULE by themselves in the near future, drink the POCARI SWEAT mixed with the water found on the moon and bring their dreams contained in the capsule back home.

Mr. Masayuki Umeno, Vice President of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. talked about his passion for the project, “Otsuka Pharmaceutical has continued its research into ‘water’ that is close to human body fluid for many years. Based on the research findings, Otsuka released POCARI SWEAT in 1980. In 2013, when we heard the news from NASA that there is water on the moon, I decided to participate in this project.”

The messages to be put inside the capsule are dreams of children gathered from visits to primary schools in and out of Japan.

The drink will be in powder form and stored inside a special titanium can that weighs 1,000g and looks like a regular POCARI SWEAT can.

To continuously endure the harsh environment of the moon where the temperature shifts from minus 170℃ at night to 110℃ during the day, the capsule was developed specifically for this project.

Mr. Nobu Okada, CEO of ASTROSCALE PTE. Ltd., who is in charge of the design and overall technological management of the DREAM CAPSULE, explained the structure of the capsule.

“Small- and medium-sized companies in Japan have remarkable technological capabilities, and are joining all their forces for this project. To bring something to outer space, it is necessary to take into account the vibrations of the rocket, differences in gravity, the vacuum of space, radiation and other influential factors, including the blue color of the DREAM CAPSULE. Due to the difficulty in carrying a colored component into outer space, conventional rockets and artificial satellites have not been color-coated. Nevertheless, with this project, making use of their wisdom and technology, Japanese small- and medium-sized companies have successfully developed a special blue dye, which has passed tests run by NASA.”

Astrobotic Technology Inc., the developer of the lander that will carry the DREAM CAPSULE filled with dreams and technologies to the moon, is a US-based company that delivers affordable space robotics technology and planetary missions.

The company’s CEO, Mr. John Thornton, explained the exploration plan, “From Florida, the lunar lander ‘GRIFFIN’ will be launched with the rocket, which will arrive at the moon about four days later. After orbiting the moon at an altitude of approximately 100 km, the lander will make a soft landing on the surface of the moon.”

“The landing spot on the moon (LACUS MORTIS) is a unique area where there may be a network of underground caves. Such geographical features were discovered by Japan’s lunar probe KAGUYA. The GRIFFIN will land near the spot and certainly deliver your messages to the moon,” said Mr. Thornton.

Mr. Masazumi Gotoda, Senior Vice-Minister of the Cabinet Office in charge of the national space policy, shared his view about this privately funded project.

“This is actually a project that should be conducted by the national government. I would like to express my sincere respect and gratitude to the project organizers.”

“The LUNAR DREAM CAPSULE PROJECT involves various aspects, such as technologies, a shift from government to private initiatives, participation of small- and medium-sized companies, and educational issues. Under the leadership of the minister, we will also aggressively promote Japan’s space policy through close public-private partnerships. I wish this project great success, and hope that humanity will enjoy prosperity in the near future, when some of us land on the moon to retrieve the capsule.”

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