Graduate of Yokohama City University. After spending 1 year in New Zealand, Yukari Kato worked as an English conversation teacher before taking on the role of study abroad counselor at Center for International Cultural Studies and Education, the predecessor of Ryugaku Journal, where she later became head of the Nagoya office. In 2001 she became involved in program development as Product Manager. In January 2003, she became a board member of the company. She is currently Executive Vice President of the company and Chief Editor of ‘Ryugaku Journal’ magazine, and works to actively promote studying abroad to Japanese people. Qualifications: JAOS Certified Counselor, national level career consultant qualification.
Born in 1968. Kota Matsuda is a so-called ‘returnee’ who spent his childhood in Africa and America. After graduating from University of Tsukuba, he worked in a bank before establishing Japan’s very first Tully’s Coffee store in 1997. The next year, he founded Tully’s Coffee Japan Co., Ltd. and in 2001 made his stock market debut. In 2007, he was named a Young Global Leader (YGL) by the World Economic Forum. In 2010, he was elected to Japan’s House of Councillors. After completing his term in 2016, he returned to business start-ups and running companies. His main field is the restaurant business, such as Eggs ‘n Things, but is also active in DX business involving the use of AI, and the field of natural energy. Since June 2022, he is a board member of The United Nations Association of Japan.
Born in Toyama prefecture. After graduating from The University of Tokyo in 1969, Mariko Bando joined the Prime Minister’s office in Japan. After serving as Counselor in the Cabinet Public Relations Office, Director of the Consumer Statistics Division of the Statistics Bureau, Director of the Gender Equality Office, Deputy Governor of Saitama Prefecture, and Consul General of Brisbane, she became Director General of the Gender Equality Bureau, Cabinet Office in 2001. Professor and Director of the Institute for Women’s Culture at Showa Women’s University since 2004, Academic President of Showa Women’s University since 2007, President of Showa Women’s University since 2014, Chancellor of Showa Women’s University (concurrently serving as President), 2016 to present. She is the author of many books, including “Josei no Hinkaku” (A Woman’s Dignity), which has sold more than 3 million copies, “70-Sai no Tashinami” and “Shiawase na Jinsei no Tsukurikata”.
Born in 1970 in Kanagawa prefecture, Chikara Funabashi is a founder and former project director of “Tobitate! (Leap for Tomorrow) Study Abroad Initiative”. He spent his childhood in Argentina and high school years in Brazil. After graduating from Sophia University, he joined ITOCHU Corporation, and in 2000 established Will Seed Inc. to provide experiential education programs to schools, corporations, and local governments. He made the list of WEF Young Global Leaders in 2009. In 2015, he became an ad-hoc member of the Central Council for Education, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. He is a founder of non-profit organization “TABLE FOR TWO International” and also a board member of Public Incorporated Association MORIUMIUS.