Japan – Mitsubishi Corporation Announces the Closing of AIGF II Small and Mid-cap Growth Fund in ASEAN

Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) is pleased to announce the final closing of AIGF II LP (AIGF II) with total capital commitments of 17.3 billion yen from institutional investors both in and outside Japan. AIGF II is the second fund established by MC’s wholly owned subsidiary AIGF Advisors Pte. Ltd. (AIGF), a private-equity (PE) firm based in Singapore that manages investment funds in the ASEAN region.

Launched in 2014 to accelerate growth at small and mid-cap enterprises in ASEAN and boost their industrial competitiveness, AIGF invests in the businesses and extends them management support. Through its first fund, AIGF I, the firm invested in Jaya Grocer (a company that runs premium supermarket chain in Malaysia), RDCL (the operator of Thailand’s Kentucky Fried Chicken stores), and KMC (the largest flexible workspace provider in the Philippines). AIGF has steadily built up a strong track record in creating new value and growth at its portfolio companies, as evidenced by its success with Jaya Grocer, which was sold back to the original owner in 2021 after enjoying a significant expansion in its network of stores.

Leveraging know-how gained through its first fund, AIGF has already begun investing through AIGF II in a variety of sectors. So far, the AIGF II portfolio includes BHS Kinetic, an integrated specialized logistics and installation services provider in Singapore, and Meatworld International, a leading meat retailer and distributor in the Philippines.

Although the ASEAN region is expected to enjoy stable economic and population growth in the coming years, when compared to Japan its market for direct investments is limited and underdeveloped. PE funds like those managed by AIGF are gaining a greater presence as providers of growth capital to promising businesses.

MC has been developing PE businesses both in Japan and around the world that distinguish themselves by taking advantage of the MC Group’s collective capabilities. As MC’s core PE platform in ASEAN, AIGF shall continue to do its part in strengthening both the region’s industry and business community by investing in the growth of promising enterprises and leveraging MC’s broad network and industry expertise.

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Sony Corporation of America donates $1 million to support UNICEF’s Learning Passport in Ukraine and surrounding countries


Sony Corporation of America, on behalf of Sony Group Corporation (“Sony”) and its affiliates in the Americas, announced today a $1 million donation to support UNICEF’s Learning Passport, helping millions of children and their families affected by the crisis in Ukraine and neighboring countries access education.

UNICEF’s Learning Passport provides children, young people and teachers with online and offline quality, portable educational resources. The program first launched in Ukraine in 2020 and rapidly expanded in February 2022 in response to the crisis and its impact on children’s learning.

Sony’s funds will help ensure children and teachers have access to educational and supplemental content, including curated and localized mental health content and social-emotional learning via the Learning Passport. These resources help children, young people and their families cope with stress and trauma caused by emergencies.

“More countries are gripped by conflict today than at any time in the past thirty years,” said Karen Kelso, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Impact, Sony Corporation of America. “We are proud to further support UNICEF and the Learning Passport, which provides crucial support to children and young people impacted by emergencies that threaten or destroy access to food, shelter, social support, health care and education.”

“UNICEF is on the frontlines to ensure children whose education has been disrupted by conflict, natural disasters and other humanitarian emergencies can continue to learn,” said Mac Glovinsky, UNICEF Learning Passport Global Program Chief. “Thanks to our continued partnership with Sony, we will be able to provide innovative digital solutions like the Learning Passport to respond to the immediate educational needs of those impacted by the war in Ukraine.”

The crisis in Ukraine is having a dramatic impact on the lives and futures of Ukraine’s 5.7 million school-aged children. The estimated 2.2 million Ukrainian children who have sought refuge in neighboring countries require support to integrate into new education systems to continue their education. Access to digitally-enabled learning solutions has been one of the key interventions to ensure continuous access to formal and non-formal education, enabling students in Ukraine and refugee children in neighboring countries to continue and complete their education based on the Ukrainian curriculum, while facilitating integration into education systems of hosting countries.

“Getting children back to learning is a critical step in restoring normalcy in their lives — and in recovering their learning after months of war and years of COVID-19 disruption,” said Alberto Biancoli, UNICEF’s interim Regional Chief of Education for Europe and Central Asia. “For some children, this may mean a traditional classroom. For many others, it may mean online learning at home, or non-formal learning centers. Reaching every child, assessing their learning gaps, and ensuring they can catch up on lost learning is one of UNICEF’s top priorities for Ukraine’s children.”

The impacts of school closures, compounded with the challenges of adapting to new school environments, are likely to affect the learning outcomes of Ukraine’s children and force countless students out of education. It is urgent to act now and ensure a rapid education response through the Learning Passport ahead of the upcoming school year 2022-2023.

Launched in 2018, the Learning Passport currently reaches more than 2.3 million learners in 26 countries and territories including Costa Rica, Mexico, Honduras, Egypt, Jordan, Kosovo, Nigeria, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe. Plans to roll the program out in an additional 25 countries and territories are currently underway. The platform underwent significant expansion in 2020 to respond to the disruption to children’s learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In October 2020, Sony Corporation of America, on behalf of Sony’s affiliates in the Americas, supported the rollout of the Learning Passport in Latin America and the Caribbean to ensure access to high-quality education, both online and offline, for children and young people across the region.

In November 2020, the Learning Passport was recognized as one of the 50 Most Influential Projects of 2020 by The Project Management Institute, and in 2021 TIME named the Learning Passport one of the best 100 inventions of the year.

About Sony Corporation of America

Sony Corporation of America, located in New York, NY, is the U.S. headquarters of Sony Group Corporation, based in Tokyo, Japan. Sony’s principal U.S. businesses include Sony Electronics Inc., Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC, Sony Music Entertainment, Sony Music Publishing LLC and Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.  With some 900 million Sony devices in hands and homes worldwide today, a vast array of Sony movies, television shows and music, and the PlayStation Network, Sony creates and delivers more entertainment experiences to more people than anyone else on earth.  To learn more: www.sony.com/en.


UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

Follow UNICEF on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube

UNICEF USA advances the global mission of UNICEF by rallying the American public to support the world’s most vulnerable children. Together, we are working toward a world that upholds the rights of all children and helps every child thrive. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.

UNICEF does not endorse any company, brand, product or service.

NEC Corporation strengthens its partnership with Project Management Institute (PMI) in Asia Pacific to drive business agility

NEC Corporation, a leading global IT and network transformation services provider, today announced a strategic partnership with Project Management Institute, the world’s leading association for project management, to become a Disciplined Agile (DA) Consulting Partner. Through this partnership, NEC will use DA as a reference model to implement its own business transformation and utilize its experience to develop a consulting business to solve customer problems.

As a DA Consulting Partner, NEC will use the DA tool kit to create both a system and a team that can continuously provide customized solutions to help solve their customer’s unique agile delivery challenges, enabling true transformation. NEC will have access to PMI’s DA subject matter experts to add value to their customer outreach and expand their network and will provide feedback as a Partner Advisor Council member.

As a company engaged in DX, NEC utilizes its knowledge to support various customer needs. In order to achieve business agility through this transformation, NEC is required to solve each customer’s issues and barriers with an approach that is tailored to the customer. In response to a wide variety of situations, DA is an ideal toolkit that contains many practices to address such situations, enabling users to select the most appropriate practice for each situation to solve problems and make improvements. By leveraging these features and combining them with NEC’s own knowledge, DA will be able to support customer transformations with even greater added value.

To achieve this, NEC will capitalize on the DA toolkit to solve challenges currently being faced by its own projects and organizations. By providing this to customers as well, NEC will strengthen the customers’ agile delivery into something more practical.

In addition, NEC will strengthen the internal curriculum for agile human resource development by utilizing the DA certifications (Disciplined Agile Scrum Master – DASM/ Disciplined Agile Senior Scrum Master- DASSM / Disciplined Agile Coach – DAC) provided by PMI, and promote the training of consultants with DA coaching qualifications as human resources who can support transformation not only within the company but also among customers while strengthening the organization.

“In an environment of high uncertainty, agility to respond to rapid change is becoming increasingly essential in conducting business,” said Shunichi Fukuoka, General Manager of the SI Business Promotion Division, Digital Business Platform Unit, NEC. “We have found DA know-how to be extremely effective in transforming into agile organizations that can respond to diverse situations and challenges. We will contribute to the advancement of DX for our customers and society by collaborating with PMI, a global leader in agile approaches, and providing them with the value of our own achievements and knowledge.”

“NEC has had a very thorough agile approach and we are pleased to welcome them as the very first Disciplined Agile Consulting Partner for PMI in Asia Pacific,” said Ben Breen, Managing Director, Asia Pacific & Global Head of Construction, PMI. “Becoming a true `learning organization’ requires a more disciplined approach to agile in which teams are taught to identify and choose a way of working that best reflects the situation they face. Our focus in Japan is to work with project professionals and organizations to assist them to become agile and quickly shift to remote agile strategies as appropriate. I believe that this partnership will accelerate NEC’s transformation journey and help them stay agile in these unprecedented times.”

The Disciplined Agile approach is a comprehensive agile process tailoring tool kit that guides individuals, teams, and organizations to define their optimal “ways of working”. For professionals, it helps them learn multiple paths to agility and can improve business performance. For organizations, it empowers them to customize any method – such as Scrum, Kanban, and other mainstream approaches – to drive outcomes that differentiate them from competitors. From agile skills training, and value stream optimization, to guidance for true business agility enterprise-wide, DA is a comprehensive library of agile and lean practices, lifecycles, and strategies, combined with fit-for-context advice for different situations.

For more information about the DA toolkit, visit: www.pmi.org/disciplined-agile.

About NEC Corporation

NEC Corporation has established itself as a leader in the integration of IT and network technologies while promoting the brand statement of “Orchestrating a brighter world.” NEC enables businesses and communities to adapt to rapid changes taking place in both society and the market as it provides for the social values of safety, security, fairness and efficiency to promote a more sustainable world where everyone has the chance to reach their full potential. For more information, visit NEC at https://www.nec.com.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/nec/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/NECglobalOfficial
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nec.global/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NEC_corp

About Project Management Institute (PMI)

Project Management Institute (PMI) is the leading professional association for project management, and the authority for a growing global community of millions of project professionals and individuals who use project management skills. Collectively, these professionals and “changemakers” consistently create better outcomes for businesses, community and society worldwide.

PMI empowers people to make ideas a reality. Through global advocacy, networking, collaboration, research, and education, PMI prepares organizations and individuals at every stage of their career journey to work smarter so they can drive success in a world of change.

Building on a proud legacy dating to 1969, PMI is a not-for-profit, for-purpose organization working in nearly every country around the world to advance careers, strengthen organizational success, and enable project professionals and changemakers with new skills and ways of working to maximize their impact. PMI offerings include globally recognized standards, certifications, online courses, thought leadership, tools, digital publications, and communities.

Visit us at www.PMI.org, www.projectmanagement.com,
https://www.facebook.com/PMInstitute, and on Twitter @PMInstitute.

Topic: Press release summary

Mitsubishi Corporation: Seven-Member Partnership Commits to Warehouse DX Initiative

We are pleased to announce that a partnership of seven entities has today agreed to undertake a joint initiative to promote digital transformations (DX) in Japan’s warehousing industry. The partnership members are Mitsubishi Corporation (MC), Mitsubishi Corporation LT, Inc. (MCLOGI), UTokyo Innovation Platform Co., Ltd. (UTokyo IPC), Prologis, Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd.,* Mitsubishi HC Capital Inc., and Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd.

Today MC also transferred its own warehouse DX operations to its newly established subsidiary Gaussy Inc. (Gaussy), in which each of the partnership’s other six members has acquired a capital interest. The businesses to be undertaken by Gaussy include provision of the warehouse robot subscription service “Roboware,” which was launched by MC in 2020, and the warehouse sharing service “WareX.” The new subsidiary’s aim will be to develop platforms to connect warehouse users and providers in ways that will improve logistics and fulfillment processes across different industries.

*Mitsui Fudosan’s investment comes via its own venture capital fund, 31 Ventures Global Innovation Fund II.

Challenges in the Warehousing Industry

Supply chains connecting producers and consumers are made possible through effective combinations of storage- and transportation-based logistics capabilities. Japan’s domestic warehousing market is central to those supply chains and worth approximately seven trillion yen; various negative pressures including labor shortages, dependencies on specific individuals for certain jobs and lease agreements have resulted in inflexible inventory capacities, which has in turn contributed to wasteful, inconsistent and burdensome fulfillment practices throughout numerous industries. Other countries, such as the US and China, are facing similar challenges, which has prompted innovators to develop new business models such as self-driving warehouse robots and schemes that allow users to share vacant warehouse spaces.

Gaussy’s Warehouse DX Services

Considering that the “Roboware” subscription service allows anyone, regardless of their background or skills, to use robots to easily manage their warehouse facilities, it presents a viable solution to the labor-shortage and overreliance problems mentioned above. “WareX” is a similarly straightforward system that anyone can use to share available warehouse space, thus addressing the problems of limited or excess capacities.

Gaussy will offer customers both of these services, the former (Roboware) of which employs five types of warehouse robots and has already been rolled out in 14 facilities across Japan, and the latter (WareX) of which has more than 1,000 facilities registered on its nationwide system. Large, medium and small enterprises alike have all been taking advantage of “WareX,” as it provides them with an efficient way to lease vacant warehouse spaces on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Driven by its vision to create new opportunities in logistics, Gaussy is committed to developing flexible mechanisms that will adapt to evolving warehousing needs and cargo volumes. All of its partners look forward to offering fulfillment customers with new and unprecedented options for their businesses.

Roboware: https://roboware.ai/
WareX: https://warex.ai/

Our Partnership

Today, coinciding with MC’s transfer of its warehouse DX operations to Gaussy, each of the six other members in our partnership acquired a capital interest in the new company, five through third-party share allotments (UTokyo IPC, Prologis, Mitsui Fudosan, Mitsubishi HC Capital, and Mitsubishi Estate) and one (MCLOGI) through a transfer of Gaussy shares owned by MC. Through this cross-industrial and cross-business partnership between industry and academia, each of our seven entities shall endeavor to create its own solutions to the problems impacting the warehousing sector by bringing to the table its unique assets, including digital technologies, know-how and networks in logistics properties, financial expertise and so on.

Partner Comments

UTokyo IPC
Logistics continues to have an increased impact on business and society, while the logistics industry continues to face various issues, e.g., a surge of just-in-time transport and the labor shortage, to name a few. We are delighted and honored to take part in the cross-sector partnership under which Gaussy, the leading partner with visions and expertise, will address these issues. We look forward to working together for Gaussy’s success as well as the acceleration of social transformation through collaboration between multiple stakeholders, including academia.

As the global leader in logistics real estate, Prologis develops, owns and manages nearly 4,700 logistics facilities in 19 countries around the world. In light of the increasing challenges that our customers are facing, Prologis endeavors to provide solutions beyond the logistics real estate. Through this partnership, we strive to provide further efficiencies by taking advantage of unused warehouse space in addition to providing labor solutions. Moreover, we hope to leverage our global scale to support Gaussy’s future global expansion.

Mitsui Fudosan
Under its Mitsui Fudosan Logistics Park (MFLP) brand, Mitsui Fudosan has been engaged in the logistics property business for roughly a decade since its launch in 2012. This partnership will enable us to promote logistics-oriented DX in ways that should help the industry adapt to an evolving society. As a partner to all of our tenants, we look forward to taking on new roles in value creation that connects goods, labor and services in our properties.

Mitsubishi HC Capital
Mitsubishi HC Capital has been working on solving issues surrounding the logistics sector such as the workforce shortage, and growing environmental impact, with our partners, to create sustainable societies and improve people’s quality of life. Mitsubishi HC Capital intends to leverage this partnership to offer Gaussy a set of diverse functions built up through many years of experience, which include both financing and ownership and management of asset. By doing so, we aim to be a valued partner in the new company’s aim to meet customer needs with efficient and user-friendly services.

Mitsubishi Estate
Mitsubishi Estate has been working on its own brand of logistics facilities developments called Logicross, which services customers across a wide array of businesses. We are keen to partake in this partnership, not only to construct the facilities, but also to enhance our services’ customer-satisfaction rates and work in step with the other members to help identify new logistics solutions.

As a logistics-solutions provider, MCLOGI’s business is to optimize its customers’ storage-and-distribution operations. This partnership allows us to extend the full breadth of our logistics know-how and planning-and-design functions to Gaussy, which should raise its corporate value and help to develop the solutions needed to enrich society and stimulate economic growth.

Here at MC, we are proud to have forged value chains in many different industries. In recent years, we have also been pursuing DX projects designed to help address challenges in warehousing, as that sector will be key to enhancing the sustainability of those value chains. Societal challenges cannot be met by one entity acting alone, but the partnership we have entered into today will make those solutions possible and help us to co-create expansive value. This value will also have the potential to boost Gaussy’s corporate value, and ultimately help to realize a more affluent and prosperous society.

Inquiry Recipient:
Mitsubishi Corporation

Topic: Press release summary

Mitsubishi Corporation signs Participation Agreement with Sempra Infrastructure, TotalEnergies, Mitsui for Carbon Sequestration Project in Louisiana

Mitsubishi Corporation is pleased to announce that it has signed a participation agreement with Sempra Infrastructure, TotalEnergies and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. for the development of the proposed Hackberry Carbon Sequestration (HCS) project at the site in Southwest Louisiana.

The project aims to capture, transport and sequestrate carbon dioxide (CO2), primary sourced from Cameron LNG, and the participation agreement provides the basis for the parties to potentially enter into a joint venture with Sempra Infrastructure for the HCS project. Last summer, the Hackberry Carbon Sequestration, LLC, which is owned by Sempra Infrastructure, filed an application for a Class VI injection well permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for permanent storage of up to 2 million tonnes per annum of CO2.

As underpinned in both Roadmap to a Carbon Neutral Society and Midterm Corporate Strategy 2024, announced in October 2021 and May 2022 respectively, MC is placing greater emphasis on energy transformations (EX). By lowering the carbon footprint throughout the LNG value chain through CCS and other EX initiatives, MC hopes to spearhead future transformations and help societies to decarbonize by providing a stable supply of clean energies.

“We are thrilled to participate in a business opportunity that could potentially lower the carbon intensity of LNG produced from the Cameron LNG Project, through which we will be able to provide additional value to our customers,” said Masaru Saito, Senior Vice President and Division COO, North America Div., Mitsubishi Corporation. “CCS promises to play an important role in achieving net-zero emissions on a global scale, so we are excited about making this project happen and looking forward to expanding our CCS business portfolio.”

The development of the HCS project is subject to risks and uncertainties, including signing definitive agreements, securing all necessary permits, and reaching a final investment decision.

Inquiry Recipient:
Mitsubishi Corporation

Topic: Press release summary