Seijiro Takeshita has been the Professor at the School of Management and Information in the Shizuoka University since 2015. He has received his PhD at the Birkbeck College, University of London in 2007. He is the author of several scientific publications but has published also articles about Japanese economy and society in the Financial Times, International Herald Tribune and made media presentations in CNN, BBC, Bloomberg TV, etc. He is also the director of the Shizuoka Rugby Football Association.


Ari Kokko is a professor at the Department of International Economics, Government, and Business at Copenhagen Business School. In addition, Kokko is affiliated with Tartu University in Estonia. His research covers a wide set of issues in economic development, international trade, and international business, both in a Nordic and an international context. Much of this is reported in an extensive publication list including more than 100 journal articles, books, book chapters, and research reports. In recent years, he has focused in particular on East and Southeast Asia, but he is also engaged in research on the internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises in the Nordic and Baltic region.


Duncan McCargo is Director of the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies and Professor of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen. His books on Thailand include the award-winning Tearing Apart the Land: Islam and Legitimacy in Southern Thailand (Cornell, 2008) and most recently Future Forward: The Rise and Fall of a Thai Political Party (co-authored, NIAS, 2020). Duncan taught on the JET programme in Nagoya, and as a visiting professor at Kobe Gakuin University. His Contemporary Japan (Palgrave, third edition 2013) has been translated into Chinese, Korean and Bahasa Malaysia.


Janne Funk has mediated the cultural and business connections between Estonia and Japan for more than 20 years. She started as a Japanese interpreter, interpreting mostly in ICT, high-tech, bio-tech etc. fields, moving on to larger projects along with developing relationship between the two countries. Lately she has led several Estonian cultural projects in Japan introducing Estonian music (“Estonian Festival in Japan, EV100) and exporting Estonian design (ehe* estonia, born from nature, EAS) to Japan in cooperation with Japanese partners. Currently, in cooperation with Organic Estonia, she is developing and coordinating export of Estonian organic food and natural cosmetics to Japan.


Ott Jalakas is a co-founder and former executive of Lingvist, a company building software to accelerate human learning. The technology built by Lingvist combines highly adaptive learning and individualized memory mapping, with algorithmically generated personalized courses. Ott has extensive experience in working with Rakuten, a leading Japanese internet and telecom company. Rakuten is both a financial investor and strategic cooperation partner to Lingvist since 2015. Prior to founding Lingvist, Ott was gamifying financial markets as a spot trader, investment manager and trading strategist.


Andreas Veispak is the Head of Research, Innovation and Development at EBS. He started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, working on numerous projects across different sectors of the economy. He joined the European Commission in 2005 where he worked on the automotive industry and was responsible for issues related to industrial competitiveness, energy and the environment. He then worked for the Director General of DG GROW at the EC (internal market, industrial competitiveness, space – Copernicus and Galileo – entrepreneurship and SMEs), following which led the EC’s activities related to space data and the Copernicus Earth Observation Programme and the unit dealing with eInfrastructures and the European Open Science Cloud. Andreas was educated at the University of Oxford where he studied Modern History.


Riina Kerner is since 2020 working as the advisor for international cooperation activities in Statistics Estonia (Statistical office of Estonia), as of 2020 PhD studies in the Management program in Estonian Business School. The research focuses on services trading with the purpose to identify and describe the dependencies between the firms´ typology.

From 2014-2020 worked for the EU Commission in Eurostat in Luxembourg as the national expert for developing the methodology for international trade in services and exploring the services role in the global value chains.

Master degree in Social Sciences (Tartu University Skytte Institute) and diploma from the trade studies in economics faculty (Tartu University).


Peter Popvics is an expert in EU-Japan relations in innovation and technology and is a PhD candidate at the European Institute of Japanese Studies and the House of Innovation at the Stockholm School of Economics. His research revolves around innovation management practices, especially the management of venture- and project-level innovation failures at technology-intensive start-ups and mature firms. Prior to his PhD studies, Peter spent 10 years in the private sector in various business development and operations management capacities at multinational companies. He lived in Japan between 2001 and 2011 and speaks fluent Japanese. Peter holds a B.A. in Economics and an M.E. in Environmental Engineering, both from Osaka University.


Maaja Vadi is Professor of Management in the University of Tartu, Estonia. She has published articles in journals (Technovation, Management International Review, International Journal of Manpower, International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, Journal of Health Organization and Management, Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal etc. ), edited books (i.e. by Emerald (Dis)honesty in Management: Manifestations and Consequences) and special issues of journals. Maaja Vadi is a member of editorial board of several international academic journals. She has lead and worked on various international projects financed by European Commission, and several Estonian institutions and has been the consultant for many companies and governmental organizations in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, and Finland. She has also conducted academic lectures in the USA, Australia, Japan, Iceland, France, Slovenia, and Sweden. Her main areas of research and teaching are related to various problems of innovation, organizational behavior, organizational and national culture.


Shigenobu Inoue is since 2014 Assistant Professor of the Mukogawa Women’s University at the Department of Informatics and Mediology. Previously he has worked in the Delphys, Inc. (subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation) at the corporate planning division and in the Yomiko Advertising, Inc. at the corporate planning division. He is a member of several academic and professional associations: Japan Society of Information and Communication Research, Japan Society of Foodservice Studies and Japan & Estonia EU Association for Digital Society.


Oana-Maria Bîrlea is a lecturer at Babes-Bolyai University, Faculty of Letters graduate with double major in Japanese and English, scholarship student at Kobe University, Japan (2013-2014). PhD in Philology, Japanese language and culture (thesis coordinator: prof. dr. habil Rodica Frenţiu). Research interest: semiotic-pragmatic approach to Japanese advertising discourse. Published several articles on the subject in specialized journals. Attended various conferences and workshops organized mainly by Japan Foundation. Member of the Sembazuru Center for Japanese Studies (CSJS, Cluj-Napoca, Romania) and volunteer teacher at Junior Summer University (OSUBB, Romania).


Patrik Ström is the Director of the European Institute of Japanese Studies (EIJS) at Stockholm School of Economics and Associate Professor of Economic Geography. He holds a PhD in Business Administration from Roskilde University, Denmark and an Econ Dr. in Economic Geography from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. His research is focusing on the development of the advanced service industry and the transformation of economies that are becoming more service and knowledge based. The primary regional focus has been Japan, South Korea, China and other emerging markets of East Asia, as well as the Single Internal Market for services in the EU.

Ene Selart Ene Selart is a junior lecturer of journalism history in the Institute of Social Studies at the University of
Tartu. Her main research fields are media history and historical relations between Japan and Estonia of
19 th century, Russo-Japanese war and interwar period.

Magdolna Sass is the director of CERS Institute of World Economics since 2020 April.  Her research fields include: international economics and business, foreign trade, foreign direct investments and related policies in (former) transition economies, outward foreign direct investments and emerging multinationals in Hungary and in the Visegrad countries. She obtained her CSc degree in 1998. She worked for the CERS Institute of Economics and for OECD: The number of her scientific publications exceeds 200, including articles in Europe-Asia Studies, Post-Communist Economies, European Urban and Regional Studies, European Planning Studies.


Yoko Demelius, Ph.D., is a social anthropologist and a researcher at the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, Finland. Her research interest lies in various forms of social platforms and cultural production for minorities’ ethnicity claims. She recently published an article on community spirit in post-Korean Wave Japan (2021), an article on multicultural coexistence (2020), and an article on cultural artifacts of Korean minority in Japan (2019).


Tetsuya Kirihata, Ph.D., professor in Department of Business Administration, Ritsumeikan University, held positions as a journalist for the Nippon Hoso Kyokai(NHK:Japan Broadcasting Corporation), researcher at Mitsubishi Research Institute. My research interests are in entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial finance and intellectual property management. I have published articles and books such as “Post-Investment Activities of Venture Capitalists When Making Investments in New Technology-Based Firms in Japana(Kyoto Economic Review, 2009)" The Challenges and Issues with Nanotechnology at the Product Development Stage(Journal of Intellectual Property, 2008)”, The Commercialization Process of New Technology Based Firms in Japan(Kyoto Economic Review, 2008).


Krista Jaakson is a researcher and Head of Management Chair in School of Economics and Business Administration in University of Tartu. Her topics of interest are organisational culture, managerial practices, industrial relations, individual and organisational values. She teaches management and business strategies in graduate and postgraduate levels in University of Tartu. Krista has worked in Bank of Estonia and Ton Duc Thang University (Vietnam). She has published in journals such as Cross Cultural Management – An International Journal; New Technology, Work and Employment; Economic and Industrial Democracy; Crime, Law, and Social Change, Baltic Journal of Management, among others.


Sanshiro Hosaka is a PhD student at the University of Tartu, Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies. His current research interest includes strategic narratives of non-democracies targeting academia, political technology, Soviet/Russian reflexive control, active measures, and intelligence history. Like millions of other practitioners he has been making daily observations of the drinking culture in various countries, with a particular focus on obsolete pubs and snacks on the outskirts of cities.


Klara Melin joined the Department of Economic History and International Relations at Stockholm University in September 2021, where she pursues a PhD in International Relations with focus on Japan’s international relations. She is affiliated with the European Institute of Japanese Studies based at Stockholm School of Economics and a member of the Stockholm University Graduate School of International Studies. Her research interests include the political culture, security studies, East Asia relations and Japanese foreign policy. Klara’s PhD project aims to explore the role of political culture in Japan’s international relations.