Lectures, Symposiums & Others

President Nakayama lectures in Singapore on Japanese business and morality

C3ntYkNeTMTUD1pLGTY0zAIqhMk235ik9Bz7WTj_45wOn the 23rd of March, President Nakayama and his colleagues, Prof. Horiuchi and Prof. Inukai, visited Nang Yang Polytechnic in Singapore to strengthen the partnership and promote cooperation between our institutions.

 NYP took this advantage of this opportunity to invite President Nakayama to give a lecture to its staff and students. He chose to speak on the following theme: “What is the secret of the longevity of Japanese enterprises? Discerning the contribution of morality to business“. A summary of what his remarks is given below:

”Although it may technically have ended, the recent worldwide recession whose genesis was the U.S. subprime loans crisis remains fresh in the memory. It taught us that even big companies do not necessarily enjoy longevity, but can collapse almost overnight to everyone’s surprise. In Japan, though, about 3000 enterprises continue to exist that are over 200 years old, more than in any other country in the world. How have so many been able to survive for so long? What traits do they have that might help to explain this phenomenon? One characteristic common to these enterprises is their respect for Japanese business morals, the metaphysical origins of which lie in what is known as Shingaku (“Heart Learning”), the system of ethics created by the Japanese scholar Ishida Baigan (1685—1744), founder of the moral-education movement.”

YwbkrmxHGYj-MV3_Y_YWLAWUXSC9oTWOKZqek_bcw_UThe presence of longevity is strikingly evident in other aspects of Japanese culture too. One such is the Shrine of Ise, which is dedicated to Amaterasu-ōmikami, revered as the ancestral goddess of the Imperial Family. Common moral ideas link these examples of longevity, and their essence is well caught in the memorable words of Gustav Mahler: “Tradition is to pass on the flame, not worship the ash” (Tradition ist Bewahrung des Feuers und nicht Anbetung der Asche). We may say that in Japan the secret of longevity in business and in many other areas of life lies in the understanding of tradition as “the flame.”

 An NYP publication, “News of the Week,” devoted an article to reporting this event, introducing it as follows:

 ”Professor Nakayama also gave a lecture to more than 100 SBM students and staff on the “Importance of Ethics in Higher Education.” During his talk, Professor Nakayama shared his thoughts on how business is done in Japan. He also highlighted the importance of integrity and how this has created sustainable businesses for several Japanese companies. He encouraged SBM students to be “morally conscious” and mindful of how their actions will shape and influence their business practices in the future.”


Nakayama and Mr Chan Lee Mun

On 23rd and 24th February, senior figures at NYP, including Mr Chan Lee Mun, Principal & CEO , and Mr Henry Heng, Deputy Principal, hosted President Nakayama and his colleagues as they toured the School of Business Management, School of Engineering, School of Information Technology, School of Chemical & Life Sciences and School of Health Sciences.

Reitaku University’s relationship with NYP began in 2010 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding allowing NYP and Reitaku students to benefit from semester-long exchange programmes that provide invaluable learning experiences in the areas of global business studies, management and cultural understanding in both Japan or Singapore.

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