Representative Director and CEO/Chief Consultant
Specialist in corporate public relations and crisis management. Era has extensive experience responding to corporate crises, especially corporate incidents, accidents, and corporate scandals. In addition to consulting, he is in charge of public relations for the companies he advises and handles media relations and negotiations with the relevant parties. He is also a crisis simulation and media training trainer, teaching and lecturing at numerous crisis management seminars.
Brief Personal History
Graduated from Kanagawa University, Faculty of Law, Department of Law, and joined Unite (now Unite Public Relations)
Moved to Plap Japan Inc. in 1987. He has worked on corporate public relations for many listed companies and foreign-affiliated firms.
Account Supervisor at the company
Managed Japanese corporate relations for Plap China, a local subsidiary in Beijing, China, and was also in charge of media training programs and director of Plap China
Established Arex Corporation and became Representative Director
Appointed to the Board of Directors of the Japan Public Relations Association (-2010)
Appointed member of the PR Planner Certification Examination Committee (to present)
Appointed Director of the Japan Public Relations Society (-2013)
Reappointed to the Board of Directors of the Japan Public Relations Association (-2020)
Appointed Vice President of the Association, Chair of its Education Committee, and Chair of its Compliance Committee (-2020)
Appointed Vice President of the Japan Public Relations Association (to present)
- "With Corona, Natural Disasters and Crisis Management Public Relations: Pandemic Risk and the Role of Public Relations" (co-authored 2020, edited by the Japan Center for Economic Affairs and Public Relations)
- "Public Relations and PR Practice: Textbook for the Second and Third Trial of the PR Planner Certification System, 2023 Edition" (Shared writing, Doyukan, 2023) (in Japanese)
- "Public Relations and PR Practice: Textbook for the PR Planner Certification System First Tier Examination, 2023 edition" (co-authored) (Doyukan, 2023)
- "Crisis Management Public Relations in the Age of Intolerance: A 15-part series" (Shared writing, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, 2017)
- "Public Relations in the New Era: Corporate Communication to Enhance Corporate Value" (co-authored with Toru Sakuwa and Masanori Kim, 2017, Doyukan)
- "Crisis Management Public Relations in the Age of Social Media" (Shared writing / edited by the Japan Institute for Economic Affairs and Public Relations (JIEPR), 2012)
- "Public Relations and PR Practice: A Textbook for the Second and Third Tier of the PR Planner Certification System" (Shared writing, Doyukan, 2011)
- "Introduction to Public Relations and PR: Textbook for the First Tier of the PR Planner Certification System" (Shared writing, Doyukan, 2010)
- "The Power of Apology to Survive a Pinch: Bow Your Head and Raise Your Reputation! Five Steps to Being Forgiven" (Supervisor, Shodensha, 2009)
- "Public Relations Strategies to Support Management: Strategies and Practices for Public Relations Managers" (Shared writing, Nippon Keidanren Publishing Co., Ltd., 2009)
- "I Cannot Be Surprised If I Did Not Know - Crisis Management Techniques for Businessmen" (2004, Jitsugyo no Nihonsha)
- "Biz-Tech Juku: High-Risk Era Corporate Crisis Management 1-6" (2004, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun)
- "Are you okay? Your Crisis Management 1-6" (Yomiuri Shimbun, 2004)
- "Change Your Business with Amazing Logical Thinking!" (Shared writing/ Takarajimasya Bunko)
- "How to Read Newspaper and Economic Articles" (Shared writing/Takarajima-sha)
- Chairperson of the PR Industry Division of the Public Relations Association of Japan
- Member of the Public Relations Society of Japan
- Member of Japan Investor Relations Association
- Lecturer, Corporate Public Relations Course, Japan Center for Economic Affairs and Public Relations (JCEPR)
- Lecturer (Crisis Management), Japan Management Association Management School
Executive Vice President / Chief Trainer
Hideki Hirano joined Arex in 2002 after 15 years of corporate reporting experience at a significant economic newspaper. Currently, he provides corporate public relations support, media training, and crisis response services for clients, including major domestic and international materials companies, major real estate companies, major food companies, domestic and commercial facilities, general contractors, utilities, electric railways, and software developers.
Vice President in 2005 and Director in 2009. Between July 2006 and January 2009, he was seconded to social news media (OhmyNews / Oh! MyLife) and served as editorial director. He is known for his practical advice based on his extensive media experience. In his previous position at Nihon Keizai Shimbun, he covered and reported on industries and fields such as automobiles, steel, machine tools, energy, transportation, corporate finance, and corporate governance. After serving as a cap of the Industry Department (now the Business Reporting Unit) and deputy manager of the same department (desk in charge of Nikkei's front page and corporate pages), he left the company in 2000. He graduated from Waseda University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in economics from the School of Political Science and Economics. He received an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley 2002. Author of "Narrative Power: Motivate People! (Mikasa Shobo, 2006) Furthermore, "Why do top investors value mentality? (co-author, Sougouhou Shuppan, 2015). Contributed articles include "Mass Communication Q&A" in Keizai Koho Center, Keizai Koho (6 installments, April-September 2010), and "Crisis Management Public Relations in the Age of Intolerance" in Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (15 installments as co-author, August 2017).
Managing Director / Senior Trainer
As a media training instructor (senior trainer), Yoshinori has taught crisis management public relations training, communication training for shareholder meetings, and investor relations. He has extensive experience in actual scandal response, manual creation, and reputation recovery public relations. He is also a certified securities analyst and has extensive experience in IR support and networking in the securities market.
After working for a major securities company, he joined IR Japan in 1991. In 1997, he transferred to Financial Media (Takara Printing Group, now Takara & Company) through the spin-off of the company's consulting group, becoming an executive officer of Financial Media in 2001. In 2004, he joined Arex as the General Manager of IR Consulting Department and became Director and Executive Officer in December 2009 and Managing Director in March 2018 (current position). He is currently a board member of the Public Relations Society of Japan and the Japan Investor Relations Society. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Keio University. Recent publications: "Crisis Management Public Relations for Universities (School Corporations): Types of Recent Scandals, Lessons Learned from Scandals, and Recommendations for School Corporations" (October 2022, Japan Public Relations Society 27th National Convention Proceedings), "How Companies Communicated Earnings Forecasts Amid the Corona Shock" (October 2022, Japan Public Relations Society 27th National Convention Proceedings). How companies communicated earnings forecasts in the Face of the Corona Shock - Key points for information disclosure when promoting "constructive dialogue with investors" (September 2020, Center for Economic Information and Public Relations, "With Corona, Natural Disasters and Crisis Management Public Relations"), "PR also wants to know about the trend of governance reform by shareholders" (Keizai Koho, June 2019).
General Manager, Consulting Department 1 /
After graduating from university, she worked at the National Children's Center Children's Castle, where she was in charge of internal and external public relations, such as writing press releases, attracting media coverage, planning and managing events, creating newsletters, and managing social networking services. She has been in her current position since April 2022. At Arex, she was responsible for a wide range of public relations work for foreign financial, real estate, pharmaceutical, and Japanese companies in real estate, distribution, machinery, and food manufacturers, media and consumer events, CSR, branding public relations, marketing public relations, and planning and editing of internal newsletters. Her experience has been well-received by clients in a wide range of fields. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of the Sacred Heart. She holds a Master's degree in Career Design from Hosei University.
General Manager of Consulting Department 2 /
Jun Hatayama joined Arex after graduating from university. In addition, he has been involved in crisis response training and the preparation of crisis management manuals since 2007 and has extensive experience in handling actual corporate scandals. In corporate scandal response, he focuses on "damage minimization" for client companies. He has extensive experience in crisis response, from formulating response policies to actual on-the-spot reporting, including fireproofing false claims, medical device recalls, professional negligence cases, reputational damage response, and construction defect issues. He has also handled over 100 media training programs annually and was appointed Director of Crisis Management and Public Relations Consulting in April 2019; he will assume his current position in April 2023. He is a certified PR planner by the Japan PR Association. He graduated from Waseda University, School of Law.
Representative of Kansai Office
After completing a doctorate in petrochemistry at the Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Akira Kurusu joined Nippon Shokubai in 1991. He worked for about 11 years in Nippon Shokubai's research laboratory, where he was engaged in searching for and commercializing new catalysts. After working in the business planning department at the head office, he was in charge of investor relations and public relations for about 18 years from 2004, serving as the general manager of the Investor Relations and Public Relations Office in 2014, the general manager of the Investor Relations and Public Relations Department in 2015, and the general manager of the Corporate Communications Department in 2022. For many years, he has led all aspects of B-to-B corporate public relations and investor relations for chemical companies in Tokyo and Osaka, including handling crises. He joined Arex in September 2022 and assumed the position of Representative of Kansai Office in November 2022. He is a member of the PR Planner Qualification Examination Committee of the Public Relations Society of Japan (PRSJ). Member of the Certification Examination for IR Planners, Japan Association of IR Planners, Level S (CIRP-S). Doctor of Engineering.
After graduating from university, Yukiko spent six years at Matsushita Electric Industrial Company (now Panasonic) in sales promotion and customer relations. In 2001, she joined the Hatsuko Endo Group as a public relations representative, and after five years in public relations, she joined Eilex in 2006. After five years in public relations, she joined Arex in 2006, serving as an account manager, executive officer/account director, and managing executive officer before assuming her current position in April 2022. She has been an account leader for corporate and marketing PR work in various fields, including foreign manufacturers, financial institutions, and service companies. She continues to lead account teams and is active on the front lines of public affairs and media relations work. She has extensive contacts with national newspaper and magazine media reporters, editors, and the business community. She holds a Japanese Language and Literature BA from the University of the Sacred Heart.
After graduating from Waseda University, Faculty of Political Science and Economics, Department of Economics, Mr. Takenami joined Sharp Corporation. After working in corporate sales, product planning, and labor union, he joined the Public Relations Department in 1998 and served as the company's Public Relations Manager from 2012 to 2016. From 2012 to 2016, he served as the company's public relations manager. He gained extensive experience in corporate, product, and technical public relations in Tokyo and Osaka. He built an extensive network of contacts with reporters from national newspapers, magazines, and trade publications. In April 2019, he joined Arex as Executive Advisor. After serving as an executive officer, he will assume his current position in April 2023. He is responsible for corporate crisis management, public relations consulting services, and a media training trainer, utilizing his extensive knowledge and experience in corporate public relations.
After graduating from university, Mr. Kitamura joined Kyoei Life Insurance Company (now Gibraltar Life Insurance Company), where he worked in the business management and business planning departments before joining the newly established Public Relations Department in 1998 as a section manager. He joined Arex in 2017, has extensive experience in public relations, and his work focuses on crisis management, public relations consulting for companies, and corporate public relations consulting for global companies and financial clients. He holds a Bachelor of Law from Sophia University, Faculty of Law.
After graduating from university, Mr. Obata joined Sapporo Television Broadcasting, an affiliate of Nippon Television Network Corporation (NNN), as a news reporter, where he covered a wide range of topics, including society, government, economy, justice, and sports. After studying abroad in the US, he managed corporate and product public relations for a global IT/high-tech company at the forefront of semiconductor/electronics, telecommunications, software, and other fields, including stints in the US He then worked for Accenture, where he was in charge of corporate communications and product public relations. He then joined Accenture, where he was head of public relations and marketing for the communications, media, and high-tech divisions. Most recently, he led a team as a senior consultant at a primary French PR agency, focusing on corporate PR consulting, reputation management, and other PR support services. In his current position since 2023, he provides public relations consulting services and media training to major domestic and international companies. With experience as a news reporter, in-house public relations manager, and public relations agent, he is known for his extensive media contacts and training of young public relations professionals. He holds a BA in Sociology from Rikkyo University. He is a Program in International Business (PEATA) graduate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Yoko Era started her career as a fashion writer at Bunka Publishing Bureau's "So-en" and worked for fashion magazines such as "SPUR," "ELLE," "High Fashion," Asahi Shimbun, Senken Shimbun, and others. In 2001, she participated in the establishment of ELEX and served as a director and managing executive officer before assuming her current position. In addition to writing articles for VOGUE and Marisol, she has translated lyrics for THE WATERBOYS' "MODERN BLUES," Emel's "Ensen," Témé Tan's "Témé Tan," Christine & The Queens' "Chris," and others. Graduated from Tokyo Gakugei University, Faculty of Education, International Cultural Education Course, and Esmod Paris.
Consulting Department 3
After graduating from university, Ai joined Plap Japan, a major public relations firm, where she was in charge of marketing and corporate public relations for a foreign food company and a distribution company as an AE. In 2000, she joined a start-up company as a founding member. In 2010, she moved to Arex, where she worked in SAE, ASV, and AM. In April 2020, she was appointed the head of the Strategic Development Office, and from April 2022, she will assume his current position. With experience in public relations consulting and editing online news for newspapers, she is known for his accuracy in news value.
Currently in charge of corporate public relations for a US real estate investment advisory firm and others, she is also involved in crisis management public relations for domestic and international financial institutions, handling offensive and defensive PR work. She is a certified PR planner with the Japan PR Association. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from Tsuda College.
Group Leader, Consulting Department 1
After graduating from university, Mayumi worked at Yamaichi Securities, then at Credit Suisse First Boston Securities Tokyo Branch, Lehman Brothers Securities Tokyo Branch, and others. After gaining experience on the front lines of finance and markets, she joined Arex in 2003. She became a Senior Account Executive ("SAE") in 2004, then an AM and AD before assuming her current position in April 2019 as Deputy General Manager of the Corporate Communications Consulting Department from April 2021. During this time, she has worked with companies in the financial sector, international NGOs, major human resources firms, and manufacturers. Currently, she mainly works with life insurance companies, major pharmaceutical companies, and real estate service companies, and she is also the leader of a team that works primarily with foreign-affiliated companies. His clients highly trust her and have been a major driving force behind ELEX's reputation and growth since the start-up period when the company had only a few employees and clients. She is a licensed security and foreign affairs specialist. Graduated from Otsuma Women's University, Faculty of Letters, Department of English Literature.
Group Leader, Consulting Department 3
After graduating from university, Yukiko joined Plap Japan, a major public relations firm. 2007 she moved to the US and lived abroad in Los Angeles and New York. After returning to Japan in 2013 after living abroad in Los Angeles and New York, he worked at SAE and ASV before assuming his current position in April 2022. In addition to handling corporate public relations for a foreign chemical company, she also provides crisis management public relations consulting services for a foreign wine and spirits company, a major food company, and a Japanese financial institution. She is a certified PR planner by the Japan PR Association. Graduated from Sophia University, Faculty of Foreign Languages, Department of Portuguese.
Group Leader, Consulting Department 2
Takanori Nishida is a graduate of Arex and joined the company in April 2013, gaining experience in corporate public relations at a foreign real estate service company and a foreign pharmaceutical company as an AAE, then an AE, and finally an SAE. Nishida has extensive experience in crisis management, public relations response, various crisis response training, and crisis management public relations manuals. He has engaged in a wide range of crises, including non-profit organizations' failure to receive grant funding, illegal employee conduct, and leaks of personal information, as well as responding to negative media coverage of software vulnerabilities. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Meiji Gakuin University.
Group Leader, Consulting Department 2
Akane Hyodo joined Sankei Shimbun in 2013 as a reporter. She covered police, judiciary, administration, medical care, and economy in the Osaka Social Affairs Department, Wakayama Branch Office, and Hanshin Branch Office. Since joining Arex in 2018, she has been highly regarded for her guidance utilizing her experience as a journalist in the social affairs department, including mock press conferences based on crises such as incidents and accidents and lecturing at seminars for executives on how to handle news coverage. After working at SAE, she has been in her current position since April 2020. She graduated from the Department of Applied Biochemistry, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Miyazaki.
Group Leader, Consulting Department 1
After graduating from university, she worked for two years in sales, marketing, and public relations at an imported goods sales company. In 2014, she moved to Arex, where she worked for AE and SAE before assuming her current position as Group Leader, Consulting Department 1, ASV. She has worked in branding and corporate communications for a foreign airline, a foreign financial institution, a foreign liquor manufacturer, and a foreign government agency. Her work ranges from cross-cultural understanding and consulting services utilizing her English language skills, to marketing public relations support and practical public relations support for client companies. She has extensive experience in consumer promotions and CSR project planning and management. She holds a BA in English and American Literature from Tokyo Women's University.
Group Leader, Consulting Department 1
Joined the firm in April 2015 as a new graduate hire, gaining experience as an AAE in branding for foreign life insurance companies and corporate PR work, focusing on media relations for the Bank of Japan Press Club, and so on. After serving as an AE and SAE, she was appointed Group Leader of Consulting Department 1 in 2021 and assumed her current position in April 2023. During this time, she has also followed in crisis management public relations, including corporate public relations for an international NGO and a major Japanese hotel brand and establishing crisis management systems and emergency response for several foreign financial companies. She is currently in charge of a foreign life insurance company, a rental housing service company, and a significant research firm. She has earned a reputation for practicing "teamwork to enhance client satisfaction." Graduated from Jissen Women's University, Faculty of Human Sociology, Department of Human Sociology.
Group Leader, Consulting Department 2
Yoko Kobayashi joined Mainichi Newspapers in 2009. As a reporter in the Akita and Fukushima bureaus, she covered various topics, including police, government administration, culture, and sports. In 2017, Kobayashi joined a certified non-profit organization stationed at its office in Turkey for two and a half years. After returning to Japan, she joined Arex in 2020, focusing on crisis management public relations consulting work for primary food and restaurant companies, think tanks, and auto parts manufacturers as a lecturer at various seminars utilizing her experience as a reporter in the society department of a national newspaper. After working at AE and SAE, she has been in his current position since April 2023. Graduated from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Faculty of Foreign Languages.
After working at Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd. in the human resources, recruitment, labor management, and education and training departments, Mr. Noguchi has been the general manager of the company's public relations office since 1990. In 1998, he became president of Human Create (a spin-off of the training division) and joined Arex in 2004. Senior consultant in charge of crisis management and media training. Director since 2006.