At the Forefront of Industry Transformation

Topics: Life at Hitotsubashi ICS, Why Hitotsubashi ICS, Student Voice, MBA Program, MBA in Japan

Posted by Kuo Jian Wong on Sep 14, 2023 10:00:00 AM
Kuo Jian Wong
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As a Teaching Assistant for the course, Kuo Jian Wong offers unique insights. A recent graduate of Hitotsubashi ICS's MBA Class of 2021, he completed his 2-year MBA program in August 2023. Jian provides a glimpse into this newly endowed course, which was jointly run by Hitotsubashi ICS and INPEX Corporation


Following the end of the academic year, Hitotsubashi ICS students enrolled in the new INPEX-endowed course, Industry Transformation, taught by Professors Takashi Nawa and Seiya Ito, with contributions from ICS Visiting Lecturer Ryuji Yasuda, were invited to visit INPEX's Naoetsu LNG Terminal in Niigata. INPEX Corporation is Japan's largest exploration and production company, which aims to provide a stable supply of diverse and clean energy sources, including oil, natural gas, hydrogen, and renewables, as a pioneer in energy transformation.

On the morning of July 21, students hopped onto the shinkansen and headed to Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture. After having lunch near Nagaoka station, students got on a chartered bus to INPEX’s Naoetsu LNG Terminal. Students were introduced to how natural gas produced from abroad is received by the terminal and distributed across eight prefectures in Japan (Niigata, Nagano, Gunma, Saitama, Tochigi, Yamanashi, Shizuoka, Toyoma) and the Tokyo Metropolitan Area.


Students were given a tour of the Naoetsu LNG Terminal where we could see the large unloading facilities at the jetty and the huge LNG tanks which would store the received LNG. Students also visited the INPEX Museum at the Terminal which had interactive exhibits to help students better understand the value chain of natural gas and the growing importance of renewables in Japan’s energy mix.


After a long day, students traveled to Tsukioka Onsen Hotel Seifuen to retire for the night. There, students enjoyed the Tsukioka Onsen, which is one of the highest sulfur-containing hot springs in Japan. For some, it was the first time to experience a Japanese-style ryokan, enjoying dinner in a yukata, along with a very Showa-era karaoke session.

INPEX Industry Transformation 3Students, faculty, and staff of Industry Transformation

In the morning, students departed to Yahiko Village where we visited Yahiko Shrine. The Yahiko Shrine keeps Japan’s first crude oil batch still which was commissioned in Meiji 17 (1886). Many people involved in the oil and gas industry would come to Yahiko Shrine annually to pray for success in the energy business.

Industry Transformation 2023 (INPEX)

Inside the Yahiko Shrine where Japan's first crude oil batch still is in display

“INPEX is a company dedicated to discovering the optimal ways of delivering energy to people, and their unwavering passion was palpable throughout the two-day trip” said Hodeok Seo, a Class of 2022 two-year MBA student who had enrolled in the Industrial Transformation elective.

INPEX Industry Transformation 1Industry Transformation students with lecturer Ryuji Yasuda (fifth from the left)

We would like to thank Course Lecturer Ryuji Yasuda and Specially Appointed Professor and former Director and Senior Executive Vice President of INPEX, Seiya Ito for their generous contributions to this trip.


Kuo Jian Wong LinkedIn


Kuo Jian Wong

Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Jian developed a fascination with chemistry and energy when growing up. This led him to move to the United Kingdom to study chemical engineering at Imperial College London. After graduating, he joined ExxonMobil's then newly opened Research & Engineering organization in Kuala Lumpur where he worked on supporting ExxonMobil's refinery operations primarily in Europe and Asia Pacific. This included a two-year expatriate assignment as a site-based process engineer in Rotterdam, Netherlands. While pursuing his MBA at Hitotsubashi ICS, he received a scholarship from INPEX Corporation and did an internship at INPEX's New Business Development Unit as his second-year activity. He is now working as an Assistant Manager in the New Business Development Unit of INPEX Corporation since graduating from ICS in August 2023.



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