Corporate Japan is in dire need of increased diversity. In July 2020, a mere 6% of Japanese corporate board members were women. The Japanese Government’s Fifth Basic Plan for Gender Equality calls for directors and statutory auditors of companies listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange to be at least 12% women by 2022. Japan’s primary business federation, the Keidanren, has called for 30% female representation among board members and corporate executive officers by 2030.
OnBoard’s mission is to help corporate Japan achieve these diversification goals in an effective and value-generating manner, allowing Japanese industry to benefit from diverse perspectives and experiences. Diversity, in all forms, is a key driver in building corporate value and embracing innovation.
Our experienced lecturers provide intensive training in areas such as law and accounting, and other practical skills necessary for successful service on corporate boards. Our clients are directors, statutory auditors and candidates for such positions. We further offer networking opportunities with lecturers and other participants. We also introduce suitable companies to participants after successful completion of our training programs. In addition, we offer seminars on corporate governance for a more general audience from time to time.
We introduce experienced, talented and diverse candidates to our corporate clients for roles as directors and statutory auditors. Our candidates include lawyers, accountants and corporate executives. We use a skill matrix matching method to find the best human capital for the needs of our corporate clients. As our co-founders are both attorneys, we have a particular strength in procuring talent from the legal profession. We can also provide in-house trainings for director and officer candidates and consulting services to promote female directors and managers.
|Date||July 2023 – February 2024|
Co-Founder and CEO
Naomi Koshi is a lawyer and former two-term mayor of Otsu City, the capital of Shiga Prefecture in Japan.
From 2002 to 2011, Naomi practiced corporate law at Nishimura & Asahi in Tokyo and Debevoise & Plimpton in New York. From 2010 to 2011, Naomi was a Visiting Fellow at the Center on Japanese Economy and Business at Columbia Business School in New York, researching comparative corporate governance matters.
In 2012, Naomi was elected mayor of Otsu City, a prefectural capital with over 340,000 residents. Naomi won reelection in 2016, serving a total of eight years until her second term ended in 2020. Naomi was the youngest female mayor elected in Japan’s history, winning office at a time when only 3% of mayors in Japan were women. As mayor, Naomi fought to expand opportunities for Japanese women, especially through improving Otsu’s childcare system.
Naomi is admitted to practice law in Japan, New York and California and is now a partner of a large law firm in Tokyo. Naomi focuses her legal practice on cross-border M&A and start-ups, and she continues to write and speak on issues of gender equality. Naomi also serves as an outside director at both V-Cube, Inc. and SoftBank Corp.
Naomi was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2015 and was named an OECD Champion Mayor for Inclusive Growth. She holds multiple degrees from Hokkaido University, and an LL.M. from Harvard Law School.
Co-Founder and CEO
Kaoru Matsuzawa is a corporate lawyer with extensive experience in public policy and startup practices.
From 2002 to 2017, Kaoru practiced law at Mori Hamada & Matsumoto, after which she established an independent legal practice. In 2019, Kaoru joined several other lawyers to co-found a new Tokyo-based law firm that has already grown to include more than 80 attorneys.
Throughout her career, Kaoru has focused on corporate law matters, including M&A and startups, as well as public policy and governance reform in both the public and private sectors. In 2011 and 2012, she managed an independent investigation commission of the Japanese Diet. Since then, she has held numerous public policy advisory and committee positions in both government and non-governmental organizations. In these roles, Kaoru has a track record of advocating for progressive reform and gender equality. In 2023, she was elected as a Deputy Mayor of Shibuya City, a city committed to promoting diversity.
Kaoru currently serves and has in the past served on several startup companies' corporate boards as they prepared for IPOs and publicly traded companies. She was an outside director and a member of audit and supervisory committees for SENSYN ROBOTICS, INC. and MedicalNote, Inc. since 2020. She also served as a statutory auditor for ANDPAD Inc. until she became the Deputy Mayor of Shibuya City in 2023, and is also an outside director for Plaid Inc. since 2022. In addition, she has been an auditor for Health and Global Policy Institute since 2023 and the Information Technology Federation of Japan since 2019. Kaoru holds an LL.B. from Keio University and an LL.M. from Harvard Law School, and she is admitted to practice law in Japan and New York. Since 2021, Kaoru has been listed in The Best Lawyers in Japan (Corporate Governance and Compliance Practice).
Otemachi Office Address:
East Tower 4th Floor,
Otemachi First Square
1-5-1 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 100-0004 Japan
Toranomon Office Address:
Toranomon Hills Business Tower 15th Floor,
1-17-1 Toranomon, Minato-ku
Tokyo 105-6415 Japan