Interviews

NewsPicks Editorial Department, SPEEDA Chief Asia Economist

Joined 2015

Takashi Kawabata

Takashi was born in Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture, in 1976. He was previously in charge of Southeast Asian affairs and international terrorism analysis at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At SMBC Nikko Securities, he composed reports on the politics and economy in ASEAN, and provided information to institutional and individual investors, as well as business corporations. Takashi joined UZABASE and began participating in NewsPicks in August 2015. He has been working at Uzabase Asia Pacific (Singapore) since March 2016, and is now the SPEEDA Chief Asia Economist.

My Day

A Day in the Life of an ASEAN Specialist Who Moved from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to a Venture Company

2018.05.29

My Day

A Day in the Life of an ASEAN Specialist Who Moved from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to a Venture Company

2018.05.29

  • 6:30 AM

  • I wake up.

  • 8:30 AM

  • I leave home earlier than usual in preparation for an appointment at 10:00, and have breakfast at a local café near the station, where I order Singapore's classic menu "Kaya Toast" (a set comprising a toasted sandwich with the local “kaya” jam in between, soft-boiled eggs, and coffee).

  • 9:00 AM

  • I check the latest political and economic information during my commute. Since internet available on trains in Singapore, I check the political economic information of each country on my smartphone while commuting in the morning. I browse the "Channel NewsAsia", which contains information on ASEAN countries, and add comments to articles of interest to me on NewsPicks, as well as interact with Pickers.

  • 11:00 AM

  • I meet with the SPEEDA team, visiting the office and give them information on the discussions that I had with the Japanese trading companies. We also examine the expansion strategy of SPEEDA in the ASEAN region. I make plans to introduce the Bank of Thailand by using my own contacts, as well as other activities next week.

  • 12:00 PM

  • I have lunch with team members at the Singapore office, who come from various cultural backgrounds, at one of our favourite restaurants. I order my favorite Singaporean fried noodles "Hokkien Noodles”, which cost about JPY 350.

  • 1:00 PM

  • I travel by international taxi for interviews in Malaysia to be published on NewsPicks. I take the taxi in the Bugis district and head to the state of Johor, which is located at the southernmost tip of the Malay Peninsula. The taxi crosses the border in about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

  • 2:40 PM

  • I visit Forest City and conduct interviews regarding a mega project that is being carried out jointly by the Royal Family of Johor and a major real estate developer in China. (Article: China Money: The Border City and the Actual State of the Astonishingly Large Project)

  • 5:00 PM

  • I participate in a social gathering for dinner with entrepreneurs, where I interview female Japanese entrepreneurs, including Ms. Sachiko Maruyama, who is the first Japanese national to run a hair salon in Johor Bahru and is president of Nagomi Global, which is involved in the development of the infrastructure for a Japanese-language media focused on tourism. I gather information on the business and living environment in Johor Bahru. (Article: 20 Years Since the "Joy of the Johor Bahru" by the Japan National Football Team, the Border City that Undergoes Changes)

  • 8:30 PM

  • I watch a football match played by Johor Darul Ta’zim F.C. and interview the Crown Prince of the Johor Bahru royal family. In the meantime, I also interview Johor State government officials and Kentaro Yomo, who is the director of the Institute for Future Asian Football. I hear talks about how there has been a reinforcement in players due to large-scale investments, and how weak teams are stronger now and capable of winning matches.

  • 10:00 PM

  • I get coverage on the Japanese groundskeeper, Koichi Hiroi, who is well-known in Malaysia for managing the lawn of the "Crown Prince Football Field".

  • 11:00 PM

  • After the interview with Mr. Hiroi, I travel by international taxi back home. In the car, I think about the composition of the covered article and start writing a title for it.

  • AM 0:30

  • I go to bed. The next day, I plan to take advantage of the flexible working environment, and work at home. I would like to finish up work earlier and spend plenty of time with my son.

※ This interview content is based on the information at the time when the interview was taken place. The member's current team and occupation may be different.

Message from Takashi Kawabata

As you can find “Your team will be there in your darkest hour”, one of the 7 Values, UZABASE members offer a hand to each other to turn around and achieve the best result.

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