Speaker's Profile


Uichiro Niwa

Former Chairman of ITOCHU Corporation

Uichiro Niwa took the position as Japanese ambassador to China in July 2010. His appointment was unusual in that he came from commercial, rather than political, circles.
Born in 1939 in Nagoya, he joined trading firm Itochu Corp after graduating from the School of Law at Nagoya University in 1962.
He became president of Itochu in 1998, at the age of 61. At the time, Itochu was suffering significant losses from the collapse of the Japanese asset price bubble. Niwa cut 300 unprofitable businesses and held an initial public offering of Itochu’s IT subsidiary Itochu Techno-Solutions in order to raise cash. He established a team called “Net Valley” to grow Itochu’s investments in the internet, satellite and broadcasting industries.
He became famous for his excellent turnaround management in Japan. He was appointed president in 1998, chairman in 2004, and advisor in April 2010.
During this period, he was also a member of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy of the Cabinet Office, the Chairman of the Council for Decentralization Reform of the Cabinet Office, and a staff member of the World Food Programme (WFP) Committee.
In addition, he holds a seat on the Beijing International Entrepreneurs Advisory Board and is an economic advisor to the governor of Jilin Province.


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