Read the full story with photos at:
To nurture global leaders, the French government is working with the French Embassy in Japan and organized a program, inviting French students to visit companies in Japan to deepen the understanding of each other’s cultures. ISEFAC is one of the largest private education organizations in France and this year, 62 of its master’s students joined the study tour to Japan.
Otsuka is one of the stops these HR Management, Public Relations and Marketing students made. In the past, such overseas study groups have traveled to Denmark and China. Next year will the United States.
It was a short but a very important visit for the visitors as most did not know much about Japan to begin with, let alone how companies are run in Japan. The students were very interested in Otsuka’s unique approach and venture spirit and felt that Otsuka respects human beings as well as the environment.
Lada Dibrova was impressed with Otsuka’s creative approach. “Otsuka's particularity is the fact that its field of work is science yet it has a very creative approach.
Precision and rigor are the key factors when you create pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products so it seems that there is no place for originality. Yet Otsuka turned this around and made creativity and diversity its primary values.
From what I have seen during the presentation it is these values that made Otsuka the leader on the market and helped take another step on the way of solving some of society's essential problems like schizophrenia and world hunger. I also think Otsuka is a company that really values its employees and creates a positive working environment.”
Stephanie Scott said, “I wasn’t aware that Gerblé was held by Otsuka Pharmaceutical, so now I know that Otsuka isn’t only a pharmaceutical company but also a nutrition company.”
Another ISEFAC student, Doriane Gouas-Vadot shared, “My first impression of Otsuka was that it is obvious that Otsuka is with an international scope. Just look at the website, it positively breaks the rules usually respected by pharmaceutical companies and gives the impression that the company is very close to patients.”
Mr. Byunghoon Lee gave a presentation about Otsuka’s culture to the French master’s degree students by beginning with Otsuka Group’s philosophy: Otsuka-people creating new products for better health worldwide.
This philosophy has driven employees to create great things and grow the company in a unique way. In order to explain the philosophy, slides with the four main points were used to explain further; ‘Otsuka-people’, ‘For better health’, ‘Creativity’ and ‘Diversity’.
First, Otsuka’s most important asset is its employees who follow these four main pillars. Secondly, Otsuka is a for-profit company, but approaches ‘healthcare’ in the sincerest way possible. Thirdly, Otsuka people must use their ‘creativity’ and practice their ‘diversity’ in order to accomplish their ultimate goal of ‘creating new products for better health worldwide’.
Otsuka’s creativity starts with ‘paradigm shift’ and embracing ‘diversity’ of Otsuka people and their ideas. To better explain the concept, the presentation was wrapped up with the turning of the flat world map upside down to show the guests that Otsuka employees are always encouraged to think differently rather than to follow the convention.
Read the full story with photos at:
A new Office for National Statistics (ONS) study has indicated that Japanese women have the longest life expectancy among women in 21 selected countries – an average of 86.4 years.*1
In an aging society with an increasing average lifespan, data from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare indicate that the gap between healthy life expectancy and average life expectancy is 9.2 years for men and 12.8 years for women. This means that women are spending around one-seventh of their actual life either bedridden or in care. Because the extension of healthy life expectancy and better quality of life for women is becoming more important, the Japanese government has made women’s health one of the pillars of the government’s "New Health Frontier Strategy".
For many years of soy research, Otsuka Pharmaceutical has focused on the relationship between equol and psychological and physical changes in menopausal women. In 2002 the Lactococcus 20-92, which produces equol, was successfully isolated. Both the Pharmaceuticals Business Division and the Nutraceuticals*2 Business Division have conducted a range of research in both Japan and the US into the safety and efficacy of equol produced using this lactic acid bacterium to ferment soy germ (natural S-equol).
EQUELLE is a processed food made with lactic acid bacteria from fermented soy germ containing equol. Equol, produced from a soy isoflavone, especially daidzein, in the intestine is known to act like an estrogen. But only around 50% of Japanese women and 30% of European and American women have the capacity to produce it. It is important to all women to continuously take equol to maintain and improve health.
A joint US-Japan equol research collaboration with the Pharmaceutical Business Division of Otsuka Pharmaceutical proves that we are the field leader in the research of safety and efficacy of equol. This study contributes to women’s health who are 40 and over during and after menopause. The company has also isolated the lactic acid bacterium that produces equol and developed technology to produce equol by fermenting soy germ.
Rapid falls in estrogen levels among women from their forties onwards causes a range of physical and psychological changes, and accurate knowledge and information about these changes is desirable for proper management. In addition, proper care during this stage of life has significant implications for the lives of women as they age, and is important for extending healthy life expectancy.
However, women sometimes suffer alone, unable to obtain information on what they need to do, and when. Staff with expert knowledge will be located throughout Japan to explain to women 40 and over about the importance of healthcare and the role of equol at their health stage.
Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. launched EQUELLE at pharmacies, hospitals and clinics across Japan and the product will also be available via the Otsuka Plus One e-commerce website.
Read the full story with photos at:
Otsuka Group welcomed 424 new employees at the annual New Staff Ceremony that was held on April 1st, 2014. Among them, 194 were accepted into Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., thirty more new employees compared to last year.
In his welcoming speech to the new hires, Dr. Taro Iwamoto, president & representative director, Otsuka Pharmaceutical said, “Otsuka is a challenger that grows through creativity. For that, we need leadership, innovation and diversity.”
Each year on April 1st, many college graduates start a new chapter in their lives as a new employee in Japanese companies.
At Otsuka, the annual orientation for the new staff is held at the Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory Inc. in Tokushima (an hour and half flight south of Tokyo). That’s where Otsuka Pharmaceutical was founded nearly 50 years ago.
Mr. Tatsuo Higuchi, president & representative director, and CEO of Otsuka Holdings began the ceremony by saying,
“Proof through Execution” refers to achieving self-realization and arriving at the truth through one's own accomplishments. “Creativity” is the pursuit of creating that which only Otsuka can, imitating no one. These together are the foundation of the Otsuka Group's business – guiding us all, without straying or losing our way, on a path that is straight and true.”
Dr. Taro Iwamoto, president & representative director, Otsuka Pharmaceutical asked the confident, bright and young new staff what leadership meant to them.
He also cautioned them not to be scared of failures, “Without failing, you cannot succeed. I want you to be challengers and go out into the world to learn from your failures and succeed!”
Of the 194 new employees coming to Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., 10 of them are mid-career hires while the rest are new graduates from universities. The best and the brightest are recruited from Japan and overseas to join the Otsuka family.
Ryo Watanabe is one of Otsuka Pharmaceutical’s new hires. While still in graduate school, he had come across an article about Otsuka.
“When I read in the article that Otsuka continued research for one drug for several decades, until it was able to create something unique, useful and successful, I knew that I wanted to be part of a company that won’t give up easily.”
In his speech to all the company heads at the new staff ceremony, he said that Otsuka has a lot of attractive products. The reason for that is because Otsuka utilizes the talents of diverse group of individuals. And through discussions as well as clashes, new ideas are born that lead to unique products. With that in mind, he said he and his peers look forward to their work at Otsuka enthusiastically.
Read the full story with photos at:
In Japan, finding day care service is extremely difficult. The “Beanstalk Kids Center OSAKA” that opened on April 1st right next to the new Osaka office building, is located in the proximity of Otsuka Group offices in an urban area of Osaka, where the problem of long day care waiting lists is particularly severe.*1 Beanstalk Kids Center OSAKA was built for Otsuka employees.
Company Senior Managements is committed to child care because Chairman Akihiko Otsuka has always believed in utilizing the talents of a diverse group of individuals to create innovative products and ideas.
Therefore, day care service has always been an important aspect for Otsuka. Also, to promote the efforts of a more diverse employee base, Otsuka has been introducing systems such as flexible working hours, paid caregiver leave, and telecommuting arrangements.
More than 80% of children on waiting lists for day care are younger than 2.*1 Otsuka’s second day care center accepts infants as young as 57 days old. Although Japanese day care centers are open for 10.5 hours a day on average,*2 Otsuka’s day care center will be open for up to 12.5 hours in order to more easily accommodate the schedules of Otsuka employees.
The first day care center, the “Tokushima Beanstalk Kids Center” was opened in Tokushima three years ago. The number of applicants has increased because of the center’s popularity, and it now cares for more than 3 times the number of children it did when it first opened. The Tokushima Beanstalk Kids’ Center can now accommodate 150 children, up from 100. That is very rare as most Japanese day care centers managed by companies for their employees only offer placements for 30 children.*2 Otsuka has plans to open more day care centers in Japan and overseas.
Luxurious and rare in any day care centers, tall north-facing windows allow in large amounts of indirect sunlight into the center. Low eaves just like a traditional Japanese veranda also create the visual effect of large open space that offers children a creative space to learn and grow. The interior space utilizes natural materials such as wood and cork (flooring).