Mr. Yoshikazu Kitahara
Managing Director, Executive Vice President of Mitsui Fudosan
Mr. Kitahara joined Mitsui Fudosan in 1980, upon his graduation from Waseda University. He was first engaged in the development of suburban new towns in the Greater Tokyo Area, and then in a major public water reclamation project in Hiroshima. Returning to Tokyo after the collapse of the 1990s bubble economy, he was largely responsible for staving off a crash in the office property market, defending real estate prices against the buying out of bad debts by US investment banks. His initiatives in the securitization of real estate led to the creation of Japan’s first REIT and helped to grow Japan’s REIT market to the world’s second largest, behind only the US. He also launched Mitsui Fudosan’s venture development business, establishing the ecosystem for business incubation. He currently promotes Smart Cities in both urban and suburban areas. Nihonbashi Smart City, Central Tokyo’s first smart city, features a self-supporting decentralized power source which can withstand emergencies such as earthquakes and typhoons, and contributes towards both energy-saving and CO2 reductions. One of Mitsui Fudosan’s latest projects, Kashiwanoha Smart City, is located 40 km outside of Tokyo and pioneers a vision for cities of tomorrow through a partnership between public, private, and academic sectors; there, a major focus is the challenge to build data platforms which promote the utilization of big-data while maintaining control and sovereignty of personal data. Other projects encouraged by Mr. Kitahara include practical renewable energy modules, including geothermal and offshore wind power. In addition, he is a key player in the establishment of LINK-J, which aims to promote life science innovation in medical care and pharmaceuticals through the collaboration of industry, academia, and government; LINK-J has been pivotal in fostering the creation of new industries and interaction between various sectors.