Exploring the Frontiers of Technology and Finance in Osaka and Tokyo

The Japan Innovation Study Tour 2025 offers an unparalleled opportunity to delve into the heart of technological and financial innovation in Japan. This tour will take us to Osaka and Tokyo, two cities renowned for their advancements in technology and finance. Japan has long been a global leader in these fields, making it an ideal destination for this study tour.
In Osaka, we will visit leading innovation hubs and prominent banks to understand how they are driving technological advancements and transforming the financial landscape. Tokyo, the capital city, hosts some of the world’s most innovative companies in AI, fintech, and digital banking. Here, we will witness firsthand how these organisations are shaping the future of technology and finance.
Participants will gain valuable insights into the latest trends and technologies, network with industry leaders, and explore collaborative opportunities. This tour is designed for C-level executives and decision-makers who are keen to stay ahead of the curve in an ever-evolving industry.
Join us on this exclusive journey to explore, learn, and connect with the best in the business.

Key focus areas:

automation
Artificial Intelligence and Automation:

Discover innovations in AI model development and AI-powered merchant tools, alongside smart manufacturing and automation advancements.

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Digital Transformation in Finance and Telecom:

Learn about blockchain and AI strategies for risk management, and virtualized networks and AI-driven data optimization in telecommunications.

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Sustainable Technology Solutions:

Explore advancements in smart city photovoltaics and sustainability-focused material handling systems.

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Fintech Innovations:

Understand innovations in QR code payments, security enhancements, and AI-driven financial management solutions.

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E-Commerce and Retail Transformation:

See AI-assisted merchant support tools and personalized customer engagement strategies in action.

Tour Itinerary

Japan Innovation Study Tour 2024

Day-1, 17 Feb 2025, Monday | Osaka
8:00 - 8:45

Welcome Introduction

Our hosts will provide an introduction to the program, site visits, and key innovation trends to be covered during the tour.

8:50

Departure from hotel

9:30 - 11:30

Fostering Innovation at Osaka Innovation Hubs

The Osaka Innovation Hubs are at the forefront of fostering technological advancements and entrepreneurship in the region. Supported by the City of Osaka, these hubs provide a platform for startups to connect with investors, media, and accelerators.

  • Explore the ecosystem supporting startups and innovation in Osaka
  • Learn about successful collaboration models within the hub
  • Discover future trends in regional innovation

12:00 - 13:00

Lunch

13:30 - 15:00

Advancing Automation with Daifuku

Founded in 1937, Daifuku is a leading provider of material handling systems and automation solutions, continuously developing innovative products to enhance operational efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.

  • Understand the latest innovations in material handling and logistics
  • Learn about Daifuku’s approach to automation across industries
  • Discover strategic initiatives for sustainability and efficiency

15:30 - 17:00

Digital Transformation at Resona Bank

Resona Bank, formed through the merger of Daiwa Bank and Asahi Bank, is Japan's fourth-largest bank by capital. It has spearheaded digital transformation initiatives to enhance customer experiences.

  • Insights into Resona Bank’s digital banking strategies
  • Understand customer experience enhancements through technology
  • Learn about Japan’s evolving banking sector

17:00 - 18:30

Dinner

19:00 - 21:30

Transfer to hotel in Tokyo


Japan Innovation Study Tour 2024

Day-2, 18 Feb 2025, Tuesday | Tokyo
8:00 - 9:00

Breakfast

9:30 - 11:00

Collective Intelligence at Sakana AI

Sakana AI, founded in 2023 by former Google researchers, focuses on generative AI models using evolutionary algorithms. Their approach leverages nature-inspired techniques to create efficient and collaborative AI systems.

  • Explore Sakana AI’s evolutionary approach to AI model development
  • Understand the concept of collective intelligence in AI
  • Discover practical applications of their generative AI models

11:00 - 12:30

Innovations in Digital Payments with PayPay

PayPay, part of the global financial giant PayPal, is a leading digital payment service in Japan. It has revolutionised the way transactions are conducted, focusing on ease of use and security.

  • Learn about PayPay’s innovative approach to QR code payments
  • Understand their user-friendly interface and security measures
  • Explore PayPay’s impact on the Japanese digital payment market

12:30 - 13:30

Lunch

14:00 - 15:30

Future Technologies at Panasonic Innovation Hub Tokyo

Opened in February 2024, the Panasonic Innovation Hub Tokyo at Toranomon Hills fosters interaction between people and information, promoting the development of next-generation technologies.

  • Discover Panasonic’s latest innovations in sustainable smart city solutions
  • Learn about their development of building-integrated perovskite photovoltaics for urban power generation
  • Explore their focus on co-creation and collaborative projects for future technologies

16:00 - 17:30

Rakuten

Rakuten Ichiba, Japan’s largest online marketplace, is at the forefront of e-commerce innovation. Rakuten’s ecosystem includes a comprehensive suite of services designed to support merchants and enhance customer experiences. The company’s strategic use of AI and data analytics has transformed how businesses operate and engage with consumers.

  • AI-Powered Support: Learn about RMS AI Assistant, which helps merchants optimize store performance with AI-generated product descriptions, image processing, and sales data analysis​​.
  • Customer Engagement: Discover how Rakuten uses AI for personalized marketing, loyalty programs, and advanced search functionalities to enhance shopping experiences​.
  • E-Commerce Ecosystem: Explore Rakuten’s logistics innovations, fintech integrations, and educational initiatives for empowering merchants​.

End of the day


Japan Innovation Study Tour 2024

Day-3, 19 Feb 2025, Wednesday | Tokyo
08:00 - 08:30

Breakfast 

9:00 - 10:30

Financial Innovations at MUFG

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) is one of the world’s leading financial groups, known for its extensive range of financial services and innovative digital transformation efforts.

  • Insights into MUFG’s blockchain technology for secure financial transactions
  • Understand their use of AI for risk management and fraud detection
  • Learn about MUFG’s strategic investments in fintech startups

11:00 - 12:30

Venture Capital Insights at Sony Innovation Fund

The Sony Innovation Fund invests in startups and innovative technologies, focusing on fostering new ventures that can transform industries. Recent investments include companies specializing in AI, robotics, and healthcare technologies.

  • Explore Sony’s investment strategies in emerging technologies
  • Understand the criteria Sony uses for selecting and nurturing startups
  • Discover future trends and emerging technologies in Sony’s investment portfolio

12:30 - 13:30

Lunch

14:00 - 15:30

Research and Innovation at Honda Research & Institute Japan

Honda’s Research & Institute focuses on pioneering research in various technological fields, including automotive and mobility solutions.

  • Learn about Honda’s innovations in autonomous driving and electric vehicles
  • Understand research advancements in robotics and AI
  • Explore collaborative opportunities with Honda’s research initiatives

16:00 - 17:30

Fintech Solutions with Money Forward

Money Forward is a leading fintech company in Japan, providing comprehensive financial management solutions that enhance financial literacy and management.

  • Discover Money Forward’s innovative products for personal finance management
  • Learn about their strategies for enhancing financial literacy among users
  • Understand their recent advancements in AI-driven financial advice and automation tools

17:30 - 18:10

Feedback & Concluding Session

We will recap the site visits and discussions with experts and exchange personal conclusions, ideas and inspirational thoughts. Delegates will be asked to present their feedback and takeaways from the tour. 

End of the Conference


Tour Hosts

Marla Sofer
Marla Sofer
Founder & CEO, knomee

Who should attend?

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Chairmen, CEOs, and board members of banks in emerging economies seeking to integrate innovation into their business models

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Senior executives in retail, corporate, transaction banking, and trade finance

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C-level executives, including chief innovation officers, chief data officers, and chief marketing officers.

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Decision makers in mobile banking, online payments, consumer experience, technology, and operations

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Leaders in charge of channels, product innovation, and retail operations

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Senior executives specialising in business analytics and data management

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Leaders in corporate planning, marketing, and strategy

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