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Nikkei Woman Announces the Winners of its Woman of the Year 2014 Award
The Grand Prize Goes to Paralympian Contributing to Tokyo’s Bid to Host 2020 Olympics

Tokyo – December 6, 2013 – Nikkei Woman, a women’s career and lifestyle magazine published by Nikkei Business Publications (President & CEO: Kohei Osada; Tokyo) announced the nine winners of its Woman of the Year 2014. The Award is to honor accomplishments of women who showed outstanding performance in various quarters.

The Grand Prize went to the 31-year-old three-time Paralympian, Ms. Mami Sato of CSR Promotion Department of Suntory Holdings, who overcame the challenge of physical disability and made great contribution for Tokyo to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Ms. Sato developed a bone cancer at the age of 19 while she was still a student of Waseda University, and lost her right leg from the knee. Overcoming the period of great disappointment, she restarted a sport which she loved, and competed in the long jump at the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games after just one year of practice. While competing in another two Paralympics in Beijing and London, she joined Suntory Holdings as a general employee and promoted the projects for fostering next generation leaders through sports, as well as supporting the revival of her home town Kesennuma in Miyagi Prefecture and surrounding areas stricken by the Great East Japan Earthquake. She also entered the Graduate School of Waseda University at the age of 28 to expand her career path by studying and analyzing the current circumstances for Paralympics in Japan and overseas sports environments for people with disabilities. In Tokyo’s campaign for the 2020 Olympics/Paralympics bid, she was the first Japanese speaker giving a final presentation at the IOC General Assembly in September 2013. Her impressive speech grasped the hearts of many people, and contributed greatly to the decision of choosing Tokyo as the host city. She inspired and empowered many working women through her untiring attitude for making extraordinary efforts to overcome hardships and to develop the career of her own.

Ms. Mami Sato

The Grand Prize winner of the Woman of the Year 2014, Ms. Mami Sato

The runner-up winners were Ms. Maiko Katadae, Partner of the University of Tokyo Edge Capital, and Ms. Yoko Iwakura, Visual Design Department of NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) Design Center. Ms. Katadae discovered a revolutionary technology in the world of drug development, and also played a leading role in starting and listing the bio venture with a market capitalization of 160 billion yen. Ms. Iwakura gave shape to the unique world of “Amachan”, a drama series winning enormous popularity across Japan, by designing the fresh and innovative logo, scene and character visuals for the program

This Year’s Award winners were;

Grand Prize (Career Create Category)
Ms. Mami Sato, Paralympian, CSR Department, SUNTORY HOLDINGS LIMITED
Ms. Sato overcame the challenge of disability and competed in three Paralympics while also working as a business woman. Learning from her experience, she made great efforts for fostering next-generation leaders and supporting the revival of areas stricken by the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Runner-up Prize
(Leader Category)
Ms. Maiko Katadae, Partner, the University of Tokyo Edge Capital Co., Ltd.
Ms. Katadae discovered a revolutionary technology in the world of drug development, and played a leading role in starting and listing the bio venture with a market capitalization of 160 billion yen.

(Hit Maker Category)
Ms. Yoko Iwakura, Visual Design Department, NHK Design Center
Ms. Iwakura designed the innovative logo, various scene and character visuals to establish the unique world of the enormously popular drama series “Amachan”.

Excellence Award
(Leader Category)
Ms. Yuka Yamada, General Manager, Advanced Technology Research Laboratory, R&D Division, Panasonic Corporation
Ms. Yamada led Panasonic’s R&D projects in the field of environment and energy, including the development of artificial photosynthesis system boasting the world’s best performance and the invention of world’s first thermoelectric tube.

(Hit Maker Category)
Ms. Tomiko Kawakami, Asia-Pacific Sales Department, International Business Division, SHISEIDO CO., LTD.
Ms. Kawakami invented the world’s first makeup base that allows applied makeup to be washed off by just warm water. The product sold a total of two million units in the period of just two months after hitting the market.

Ms. Chiharu Fujishiro, Marketing Department, Product Development Division, PIP
Ms. Fujishiro supervised the development of PIP’s five-finger compression socks introduced for the first time ever in the market. The product sold at the fastest pace in the market history, with the total sales volume exceeding one million pairs in just 15 months, which stimulated the conventional market environment.

(Career Create Category)
Ms. Chika Tsubouchi, Leader, Hagi Oshima Sendanmaru
Heading the team of 60 fishers based in Oshima, Hagi-city of Yamaguchi Prefecture, Ms. Tsubouchi shipped locally-processed seafood directly to consumers without help of wholesalers. She is a pioneer of making fisheries the “sixth-order” industry which takes into account processing and distribution as well as production.

Ms. Tomomi Tanaka, President, Economic Development & Global Education, LLC (EDGE)
Based on her vision as an economist, Ms. Tanaka turned into a social entrepreneur in her 40s. She promoted various unique projects for supporting the poor in Bangladesh and Vietnam.

Ms. Masako Yoshida, Executive Officer, Travel & Tourism Production Dept., Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd.
Since joining the company as an office clerk, Ms. Yoshida achieved impressive results in broad responsibilities ranging from office administration, sales to human resources. She became the first locally-based employee assigned to the position of Executive Officer in the company’s history.

The Woman of the Year aims to contribute to;

  1. Present a role model for working women
  2. Highlight an individual’s achievements that are often buried within an organization
  3. Capture the edge of changes of the times through accomplishments of outstanding women

It is an annual award that Nikkei WOMAN presents since 1999 and now is in its 15th year. The candidates were selected for three categories; Leader, Hit Maker and Career Create, by the editorial team and the panel of judges for each category. Then the candidates were screened according to the five evaluation criteria, and the Grand Prize and Runner-up Prize winners were finalized based on the total points of the five judges and the editorial team. The profiles of winners and details on the screening process and results are posted on the January issue of Nikkei WOMAN on sale from December 7, 2013.

The panel of judges for the Woman of the Year 2013:

(Judge for Leader Category)
Mr. Kiyomi Saito, President & CEO, JBond Totan Securities

(Judge for Hit Maker Category)
Mr. Hiroshi Tanaka, Professor, Chuo University Business School (Chuo Graduate School of Strategic Management)

(Judge for Career Create Category)
Ms. Mariko Kono, CEO, Carian and CEO, Career Network

(Guest Judges)
Mr. Akira Ikegami, Journalist
Ms. Keiko Kiyama, Trustee and Secretary General, JEN

For further details, please contact:
Global Business Development Office
Phone: +81-(0)3-6811-8311
Fax: +81-(0)3-5421-9804

This press release may contain forward-looking statements that reflect the company's current views with respect to future events and business performance. Those forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties and the company's actual results could differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among other factors, general business and economic conditions, rapid or unexpected changes in technologies, cancellation or delay of customer orders.

About NikkeiBP

Nikkei Business Publications is part of The Nikkei group, which has newspaper publication as its main business and three additional business divisions of digital media, publishing and broadcasting under its umbrella. Covering a wide variety of specialized areas including business, computer, electronics, construction, services and medicine, Nikkei Business Publications, in July 2008, merged with its sister company, Nikkei Home Publishing, to also bring consumer magazines into its portfolio.

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