History

A hope that remains unchanged for over 40 years: To contribute to the creation of a better world.

JAIMS was first envisioned in the early 1970s by Yoshimitsu Kohra, then president of Fujitsu Ltd. The JAIMS idea was to take college graduates who were already in the business world and teach them the language, business methods, and special skills used in other countries. Initially, the program enrolled Japanese participants who studied American business and culture, and American participants who studied Japanese business and culture. From the outset, JAIMS was truly international, exchanging languages, cultures, and business methods among future executives from all over the world. The JAIMS program also placed particular emphasis on computer technology and its ability to help people cross communication divides.

Hawaii was chosen as the location for JAIMS, as it was then the major connecting point between Japan and the United States. Today, Hawaii continues to be a unique place with a multiethnic, multicultural population. In 1971 Hiroshi Matsubara, the first president of JAIMS, selected a six-acre site in Hawaii Kai for the JAIMS campus.

The first JAIMS classes were held in temporary quarters in Kahala. In 1972, JAIMS was ready for its first class, the American Management Program (AMP, later called the Intercultural Management Program, or ICMP), comprising 28 participants, all male, from Japan. The second AMP class included one woman. In 1973, JAIMS President Howard Miyake was appointed, and the Hawaii Kai campus was dedicated. In addition, the first Japan Management Program (JMP) began with 23 participants from six countries. These participants, from the United States and elsewhere, focused on Japanese language, culture and management systems. Together with the AMP participants, they reflected the notion of a global, international institute.

Additional courses and seminars were instituted for business executives and for data processing personnel. By 1979, JAIMS had installed a sophisticated system to allow simultaneous interpretation in four languages for its seminars and classes. The computers at JAIMS in the 1970s were among the most advanced that Fujitsu produced. When Fujitsu brought in its FACOM M150 in February 1981, it had a technologically advanced four megabyte memory, now considered obsolete. Community groups, including local elementary and high school students, toured JAIMS to get hands-on experience of the computer, which was used for JAIMS courses as well as for research into many phases of management and urban development issues in Hawaii and the Pacific region. In 1984, JAIMS also installed a personal computer lab.

With the start of the fall 1986 classes, the Fujitsu Asia Pacific Scholarship Program was established to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of Fujitsu Ltd. At that time, a year-long program at JAIMS, in conjunction with Chaminade University, led to the degree of Master of Science in Japanese Business Studies (MSJBS). In 1987, the Wong Award for Leadership was established with the generous donation of former JAIMS trustee and long-time JAIMS benefactor Francis A. Wong to recognize a JAIMS student from each class for their promising entrepreneurial skills. Hideto Kono was appointed JAIMS president in 1988, and in 1990 JAIMS and the University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Business Administration (now the UHM Shidler College of Business) began providing the Japan-focused Master of Business Administration (JEMBA) degree, a 15-month MBA program that includes an internship in Japan. The JAIMS multimedia department also published its successful Japanese On the Go! audiotapes and Verb Explorer J software.

In 1994, Fujio Matsuda was appointed JAIMS president, and JAIMS once again upgraded its multimedia lab and links to the Internet. Both a French and a China study option were added to ICMP, and in 1996 plans for the China-focused Master of Business Administration (CHEMBA) were announced. Glenn K. Miyataki was appointed JAIMS president in July 1996. The 25th anniversary of JAIMS was celebrated in 1997, and the JAIMS global vision and strategic plan was developed. New areas of focus for JAIMS included the Intercultural Health Care Management Program, knowledge creation, the JAIMS-Reims Management School Exchange Program, and the Funika Scholarship (instituted by JAIMS alumnus Nuri Sozkesen). In addition, the first CHEMBA class graduated in November 1998.

In 2001, JAIMS completed renovations to its existing library, transforming the space into the Takuma Yamamoto e-Learning Center. The TYeLC was designed to provide students with a comfortable learning environment, and resources focusing on business as well as intercultural management and communication.

JAIMS celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2002, with an alumni conference that featured top management experts, including Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Ikujiro Nonaka, and Larry Prusak. In 2003, friends of the late Norman Weissman established a scholarship for JAIMS students seeking a career in international public relations.

In 2005, JAIMS hosted executive roundtable events that featured the late management guru Peter Drucker and Megatrends author and futurist John Naisbitt.

JAIMS received the 2006 Foreign Minister’s Commendation from the Consul General of Japan in recognition of JAIMS’ efforts to improve the mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and other countries.

Ikujiro Nonaka began his tenure as JAIMS president in 2007. Nonaka, considered by many to be the “father of knowledge management,” was recognized by the Wall Street Journal Online in 2008 as being one of 20 influential business thinkers ? a list that included Michael Dell, Bill Gates, Jack Welch, Richard Branson, and Stephen Covey. In 2008, JAIMS launched the Knowledge Cafe, which is a lecture series featuring leaders who have transformed their organizations by effectively leveraging knowledge. In addition, the East-West Knowledge Leaders Program replaced the ICMP. The three-month EWKLP was designed to synthesize “global best practices” of the East and West.

In light of the expansion of business in Asian countries in recent years, JAIMS Board of Trustees has decided to reorganize JAIMS as an educational institution that also emphasizes Asia.? Fujitsu Limited established the Fujitsu-JAIMS Foundation in 2012 in order to function as JAIMS’s headquarters and to provide the new academic program called “Global Leaders for Innovation and Knowledge.” which in addition to Hawaii, will take place in Singapore, Thailand and Japan.

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