interview

William H. Saito

Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Japan

April 5, 2016 — William H. Saito is a special advisor to the prime minister of Japan. He is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, public policy consultant and educator, and author of several books.

Interview with William H. Saito

Biography

Source: William H. Saito

One of Nikkei’s “100 Most Influential People for Japan,” Saito took his first serious job (programming software for a major corporation) while in middle school. A decade later he incorporated, was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998, and became an authority on encryption, biometric authentication and cyber security. In 2004 he sold his company to Microsoft, moved to Tokyo, and founded InTecur, a VC that identifies innovative technologies and helps entrepreneurs maximize their potential.

After the 3.11 disaster, Saito was named Chief Technology Officer of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission. In 2012, he was appointed to a council on national strategy which reported directly to the Prime Minister. He is active in the World Economic Forum, as a Foundation Board Member, a Young Global Leader and a Global Agenda Council member.

Saito advises several national governments; in Japan, he has worked with METI, MIC, MEXT, MLIT, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and the Information Technology Promotion Agency, among others and is currently the Special Advisor to the Cabinet Office.

A popular lecturer at various universities, he frequently appears on TV, sits on the boards of several companies, and is the author of several newspaper columns and numerous publications. His hit management book, The Team: Solving the Biggest Problem in Japan (Nikkei BP) was a best-seller last year, and his autobiography, An Unprogrammed Life: Adventures of an Incurable Entrepreneur, appeared in 2011 (John Wiley).

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