Nidec founder plans medical and business schools as Japan ages

Nidec founder plans medical and business schools as Japan ages

Shigenobu Nagamori says higher education needs boost for corporate growth

TOKYO — Shigenobu Nagamori, the founder, chairman and CEO of the world’s largest motor manufacturer Nidec, says he plans to operate medical and business schools in Japan to train urgently needed human resources as the country ages and its companies lose competitiveness to overseas rivals.

Since 2018, Nagamori has chaired the Nagamori Gakuen Education Foundation, which operates Kyoto University of Advanced Science. The university is planning to set up a new medical school as well as a business school. KUAS opened about 50 years ago but was renamed in 2019. Just this year it established its fifth faculty for engineering, characterized by strength in motor related technologies.

“I am not going to set up something that already exists,” Nagamori told Nikkei Asia in an interview Tuesday on the sidelines of the Nikkei Global Management Forum. “I am interested in solutions” to “what is lacking in the world,” he said.

Nagamori said the new medical school which he hopes to open in 2030 would focus on treating elderly people and providing medical services in Japan’s increasingly depopulated rural areas. As Japanese are living longer, more people over the age of 60 will need medical services. “But in Japan, there are not many specialized hospitals,” he added.

In his speech at the forum, Nagamori said that education is a key for Japanese companies becoming more competitive. In Japan, students typically study hard to get into famous universities, but those institutions fail to provide the right training to develop the skills required in business, Nagamori said. Nidec “would have grown two times faster” if Japan’s education system was better, he said.