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TAKEUCHI Keisuke, Chairman and Representative Director, JGC Corporation

Born in 1947, Mr. Takeuchi entered Osaka University and graduated from the School of Engineering Science in 1970. Following graduation, he joined Nihon Kihatsuyu Kabushiki Gaisha (now the JGC Corporation). He became a Director in 2000, President and Representative Director in 2007, and Chairman and Representative Director in 2009.

Founded in 1928, JGC Corporation is a major Japanese corporation. JGC Corporation has been involved in some 20,000 construction projects of plants and facilities in over 70 countries around the world including Japan. JGC has some 11,000 employees.

TAKEUCHI Keisuke was an active member of the OU tennis club in his university days. He credits some of his leadership qualities to his experiences in the tennis club. As for his wish for current students, he unhesitatingly replies, "I hope OU students will become individuals who can say confidently they are contributing to human happiness!"

Pleasure in achieving goals

Mr. Takeuchi, the captain of the tennis club at Kobe High School, was a skilled tennis player and, as a high school student, achieved the rank of 7th in Japan. Soon after passing the entrance examination for Osaka University, he joined the tennis club and gained a regular position on the team in his first year. He spent his time practicing tennis from morning till night. In the autumn, the club was promoted to the first division for the first time since its founding and Takeuchi performed brilliantly in most competitions. However, by the time he was promoted to captain in his 3rd year, the club had been demoted to the third division. This low point was to become a treasure trove of experience for his leadership skills. "Thinking we would be unable to hold up our heads before our seniors, I strengthened discipline in the club." He established rules and led members in observing them. The number of members dropped to half of its original 80; however, that gave more responsibility to each member. He said, "Winning isn't everything, but…. Only humans can set their own goals and experience the joy of surpassing the goals they have set." This remains his philosophy to this day.

Support from classmates

His classmates in chemistry at the School of Engineering Science also supported him. During examinations, he studied and slept in the club room. One day he overslept and was late for an exam. Exam policy permitted students who finished early to leave the exam room. However, in order to prevent any leaks of test questions, if even one of student left the room early, after that point late comers would not be able to enter. His classmates knew that Keisuke hadn't come and, as if by common consent, no one left the room. Thanks to such silent support, Keisuke, who entered just 20 minutes before the end, was able to take the exam.
He recalls, "At that time, Osaka University was good in both academics and sports. There was a cheerful, carefree atmosphere allowing students to do what they wanted. Students came from different places, which helped us to have a wide-ranging exchange."

Practical experience overcomes theory

After joinig JGC Corporation, he was instilled the principle of "Practical experience rather than theoretical" at a construction site in Shizuoka. Next, working in Yokohama on the structural design for an oil plant, he was dispatched to Singapore to "see what I was doing with my own eyes. The original plan was that I would stay there for 2 weeks; however, my return to Japan kept being postponed again and again." It got to the point where his wife waiting in Japan, told the company, "Next time don't contact me telling me he's coming back until he really is coming home!"

In another case, when they had to modify plant specifications during a blizzard in China, he took the initiative, silently taking the responsibility to make the modifications himself. In the end, in the plant's completion ceremony, the local staff said, "Mr. Takeuchi should be the one in the seat of honor today." He was deeply moved by such. Days later, when it was time to leave China, not only local staff, but also people working at the railroad station, joined in a tear-filled send-off for Mr. Takeuchi. Wherever he went, Mr. Takeuchi's attitude and character, forged over the years at different sites, has attracted and endeared him to those around him.

Exploring new fields based on mutual trust

Some 25 years ago, as JGC considered its options in diversifying its areas of expertise, JGC Corporation turned to Mr.Takeuchi for business development in pharmaceuticals and hospitals. JGC Corporation, one of the world's pre-eminent companies in the energy and petrochemical fields, began as a novice in medical fields.
Mr. Tekeuchi began by visiting the drug-manufacturing companies in Dosho-machi, Osaka, one by one, from the first business day of January every year. The trusting relationships he built in this way have helped to make JGC Corporation what it is today as it aims to become a future engineering company.

Cultivating the Eye to see Japan from the outside

 ns58_ob01_02.jpg"Youngsters today are smart, but I feel that they have forgotten something important. Studying is important when you are at school, but acquiring social norms, mores, and social manners are also important. Moreover, language skills are indispensable to be a truly internationally-minded person. But these are not enough. Making contributions to international society with the Japanese heart and mind is required.

"Whenever JGC Corporation constructs plants overseas, local people ask us to bring not only technology, but also the sincere Japanese mindset. That's why Japanese support staff are also needed whenever Japanese companies advance overseas. So I believe Japan will never become hollowed out.

"Most of new employees have not been properly scolded by parents and teachers. This should be regarded as a very serious situation. I would hope for more and more young people to go overseas and encounter hardship so that they will be able to develop the ability to see Japan from the outside."

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