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Japanese Abroad

Lion of South East Asia

Mr. Mori, President, J Food & Culture TV

  • Japanese
  • Chinese

MIKIO Mori is a driven and passionate entrepreneur who has blazed his own path in the tough business world of Southeast Asia. Despite beginning his career in a major corporation in Japan, Mori made up his mind to cross over to Singapore and gained employment with an American company. Thereafter, he started up his own company in the 1970's. Mr. Mori now runs several successful ventures including Crown Line Group which now has offices throughout Asia.

"There are three elements that are keys to a businessman's success," said Mr. Mori. "The first is a combination of passion and desire to improve. The second is to make sure you achieve results. The third is a profound knowledge of local conditions."

For Mr. Mori, living abroad provided many opportunities that might not have existed if he had stayed in Japan, and in particular, deep knowledge of his adopted home. "Living in Singapore gave me the chance to start my own company, which then allowed me to determine my own path and extent of success or failure. It is amazing to consider the strength of the human spirit to survive even in the worst of circumstances, and I am quite fortunate to have had considerable success in my own ventures."

Recently, Mr. Mori started an entirely new venture. He established a company called J Food & Culture TV that aims to provide cable television programming dedicated to Japanese food, travel and entertainment for the Asian market. By 2015, he hopes to have this channel broadcasting in over ten Asian countries. "Currently, NHK is the only Japanese channel available overseas, and J Food & Culture TV aims to reveal another exciting side of Japan. Now the dominant image of Japan abroad might be the Tohoku disaster, and it is mostly negative. Japanese cultural productions, such as movies, music and entertainment television, are still among the best though."

Mr. Mori stated that Korean and Chinese programming is dominant in Asia, but an interest still exists for Japanese cultural content. "By having a television channel dedicated to Japanese culture, we can help improve the image of Japan abroad. Presently, the Chinese and Koreans are very strong when it comes to music and dramas, so perhaps a TV channel such as mine can help Japan compete at those stages. My desire is to improve Japan's image abroad. I hope it will be my longest lasting legacy among my businesses."

While media content and technology are significant drivers for Mr. Mori's new business, his personal values remain as his chief guiding force. One of the key principles Mr. Mori likes most is remaining positive and striving to improve oneself. "If you consider the Chinese character for 'to speak' (haku, 吐く), it consists of a character meaning 'mouth' (口) and one that looks like a positive and negative sign (±). If you only speak positive things and leave the negative element out, you end up with the character for kanau (叶う), which in a sense means to 'follow one's dreams'."

This ability to speak and think positively – no matter how challenging the circumstances – is an important factor in successful business and gives people, such as Mr. Mori, the ability to thrive in even the toughest situations.

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