Members of our Advisory Council are renowned and experienced leaders from across multiple disciplines.  Together, they set a robust strategic direction for BXAI’s future, and ensure excellence and diversity in the Institute’s leadership.  Their deep expertise in areas of business, finance, and education fuels the continued advancement of the Asian Future Leaders Scholarship Program, while their voices of influence raise awareness of the Institute, its mission, and Asia-centric issues throughout the region.

Mr. Yutaka ASO

Advisory Council Member, BXAI
Chairman, Aso Cement Company Limited
Honorary Chairman, Kyushu Economic Federation

Mr. Yutaka ASO is Chairman of Aso Cement Co., Ltd. and Honorary Chairman of Kyushu Economic Federation.

Mr. Aso graduated from Keio University prior to furthering his studies at Oxford University.  Following a tenure at Osawa Shokai Co., Ltd., Mr. Aso joined Aso Cement Co., Ltd. in 1975, becoming President four years later.  He has also held a number of leadership positions in business and economic organizations, including President of Aso Juku Educational Foundation in 1979, Honorary Consul of Denmark in 1990, President of Fukuoka Futaba School Educational Foundation in 2007, Chairman of Aso Corporation in 2010, Honorary Chairman of the Kyushu Economic Federation in 2021, and Executive Board Member of The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Mr. Silas K. F. CHOU

Advisory Council Member, BXAI
President and CEO, Novel Holdings Limited

Mr. Silas K. F. CHOU is President and CEO of Novel Holdings Limited, one of the world’s leading textile and apparel manufacturers and fashion brand owners.  Mr. Chou is also Co-Chairman of Sportswear Holdings and Chairman of Novel Fashion Holdings, a dedicated international fashion brand investment group in Greater China.

After co-owning and operating the European licensee for Polo Ralph Lauren, Mr. Chou and his longtime business associate, Lawrence Stroll, formed Sportswear Holdings in 1989 to acquire Tommy Hilfiger Corporation, where he served as Chairman and then Co-Chairman from 1989 to 2002.

In January 2003, Sportswear Holdings completed one of the most dynamic acquisitions in the fashion industry when it acquired a majority interest in Michael Kors (USA), Inc., where Mr. Chou served as Co-Chairman until its IPO in 2011.

Mr. Kuninori MATSUDA

Advisory Council Member, BXAI
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Ukraine, Embassy of Japan in Ukraine

Mr. Kuninori MATSUDA, born in April 1959 in Fukui, is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Ukraine.  He graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tokyo in 1982, and in 1984, graduated from the faculty of Russian language at the Defense Language Institute in the US.  Mr. Matsuda joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan in 1982 and worked as Director of the Overseas Public Relations Division and Director of the Russian Division between 2001 and 2007.  He served as Consul General of Japan in Detroit from July 2010 to June 2013 and in July 2013, he was appointed Deputy Director General of the National Institute of Public Administration under the National Personnel Authority of Japan.  From 2015 to 2018, Mr. Matsuda was Consul General (Ambassador) of Japan in Hong Kong, and from 2018 to 2021, he served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Pakistan.  Since October 2021, Ambassador Matsuda has been appointed as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Ukraine.  He is married and has two sons.

Mr. Kenichi OKADA

Advisory Council Member, BXAI
Consul-General (Ambassador), Consulate-General of Japan in Hong Kong

Mr. Kenichi OKADA is the Consul-General (Ambassador) of Japan in Hong Kong and has served in this role since September 8, 2021. Prior to his posting in Hong Kong, he served as Consul-General of Japan in Chicago and Shanghai. He has also worked at the Embassies of Japan in China, the U.S., and the Republic of Korea; as well as the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association in Taipei.

Mr. Okada joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in 1988, and studied at the University of Tokyo, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Peking University, and Harvard University as part of his training. Between 1994 and 2018, he undertook various roles focusing on Chinese and North Korean affairs across different departments including the Asian and Oceanic Affairs Bureau, the Intelligence and Analysis Service, and the Minister’s Secretariat. He is married with three children.

Mr. QIAO Zonghuai

Advisory Council Member, BXAI
Former Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China
Former Deputy Vice Director of Xinhua News Agency (Hong Kong branch)

Mr. QIAO Zonghuai graduated from Tsinghua University’s Department of Mathematical Sciences in 1968 with a degree in engineering mechanics, and later earned his master’s degree from the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Engineering Thermophysics.  He began his career in the 1970s working at the Institute of Space Medical-Engineering (ISME), which was followed by roles as the Deputy Secretary-General of Xinhua News Agency (Hong Kong branch) and Chinese Representative of the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group in the 1980s.  During the 1990s, Mr. Qiao served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of China to Finland, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and Sweden, among other countries, and also as representative of China at the United Nations Office at Geneva.  After returning to China in the early 2000s, Mr. Qiao served as Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, and from 2008 to 2014, as a Counselor of the State Council. He is married with one son.


Advisory Council Member, BXAI
Former Vice Chairman, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.

Mr. Mark SCHWARTZ is Senior Director of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.  Mr. Schwartz first joined Goldman Sachs in 1979 in the Investment Banking Division and spent 17 years in various positions in New York before relocating to Tokyo in 1997 to become President of Goldman Sachs Japan.  He was appointed Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asia in 1999.  He then moved to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of Soros Fund Management and co-founded MissionPoint Capital Partners, an investment firm invested in clean energy technology, before returning to Goldman Sachs in 2012.  Mr. Schwartz earned an M.B.A., an M.P.P. and a B.A. from Harvard University.

Mr. SHI Guangsheng

Advisory Council Member, BXAI
Former Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation of the PRC
Former Chairman, China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment


Advisory Council Member, BXAI
Former Advisor, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
Attorney at Law, Hashidate Law Office

Mr. Koji TANAMI is the former advisor to The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. and has held numerous governmental and private sector positions in the past, including Vice Minister of Finance and Governor of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.  Mr. Tanami joined the Ministry of Finance after earning his B.A. in law at The University of Tokyo.  He became Director-General of the Financial Bureau in 1994 and subsequently Chief Cabinet Councilor for Internal Affairs.

Mr. Sakutaro TANINO

Advisory Council Member, BXAI
Former Ambassador to China and India
Advisor of the Japan-China Friendship Centre
Visiting Professor of Showa Women’s University
(Faculty of International Humanities)

Mr. Sakutaro TANINO graduated from The University of Tokyo (Faculty of Law) in 1960 and entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) the same year.,

During forty years’ tenure of the civil service, Mr. Tanino served as private secretary of Prime Minister (Mr. Zenkoh SUZUKI), Director-General of Asian Affairs (MOFA) and appointed as Ambassador to India (1995-1998) and Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China (l998-2001).

After leaving the civil service in 2001, Mr. Tanino was designated as visiting professor of Waseda University (2002-2007) and also Japan-China Friendship Centre Vice Chairman.  Mr. Tanino also served as a member of study group (on diplomatic issues) of Prime Minister KOIZUMI and Prime Minister FUKUDA.

Mr.Tanino is the author of two books:

Diplomatic testimony to Japan’s Asian diplomacy- recollections and some considerations (Iwanami·shoten 2015)

Unknown stories about Japan’s diplomatic relations with China and Asia -recollections of a China hand (Toyokeizai Shimposha 2017)

Mr. TUNG Chee Hwa, GBM

Advisory Council Member, BXAI
Vice Chairman of the Thirteenth National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference

Mr. TUNG Chee Hwa is Vice Chairman of the Twelfth National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), People’s Republic of China.  He is the Founding Chairman of the China-United States Exchange Foundation, a group that aims to promote better understanding between the 2 countries.  Mr. Tung served as First Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, People’s Republic of China from July 1997 to March 2005.  As the First Chief Executive, Mr. Tung presided over the historical return of Hong Kong to China and successfully turned the “One Country Two Systems” and “Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong” with “high degree of autonomy” from a concept into an everyday reality.

Mr. Yoshihiro WATANABE

Advisory Council Member, BXAI
Honorary Advisor, Public Foundation, Institute for International Monetary Affairs

Mr. Yoshihiro WATANABE is Senior Advisor at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, a visiting professor at the Graduate School of Economics, National University Wakayama, and a councilor at the Middle East Institute of Japan. He also served as President of BXAI Japan from 2014 to 2022.

Mr. Watanabe has a BA degree from the University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Law, and a master’s degree from the Chartered Islamic Finance Professional program of INCEIF Malaysia. He has worked for the Bank of Tokyo Ltd. in Hong Kong, London, and Taipei, managing the bank’s Global Corporate Banking Unit as Chief Executive. He then moved to Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, where he oversaw risk control as Chief Risk Management Officer and Senior Managing Director. This was followed by his role overseeing currency research at the Institute for International Monetary Affairs as Managing Director. During his stint as Standing Committee Chairman at the Japan Chamber of Commerce, he also actively promoted Japan-India business cooperation.

In 2007, Mr. Watanabe was appointed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as Japan’s representative to the APEC Business Advisory Council. During his tenure, he received a letter of appreciation for his work within the Council from George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the USA.

Mr. XIANG Huaicheng

Advisory Council Member, BXAI
Former Minister of Finance of China
Former Director, National Council for Social Security Fund
Director, China Development Institute

Mr. XIANG Huaicheng is a senior economist and director at the China Development Institute.  He served as the Minister of Finance of China between 1998 and 2003, and has also held positions including Deputy Minister of Finance, Deputy Director of China’s State Administration of Taxation, and Director-General of the National Social Security Fund.  He was a member of the 15th and 16th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.  Mr. Xiang has also served as Adjunct Professor at Tsinghua University, Renmin University, Wuhan University and the China Ministry of Finance Research Institute.  He graduated from the Department of Chinese Literature at Shandong University in 1960.

Professor XU Kuangdi

Advisory Council Member, BXAI
Vice Chairman of the Tenth National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference
Honorary Chairman of the Governing Board of Chinese Academy of Engineering

Professor XU Kuangdi serves as Vice Chairman of the State Council Academic Degrees Committee, President of the Chinese Society of Metals, Honorary Chairman of the Governing Board of Chinese Academy of Engineering, Honorary President of the Chinese Federation of Industrial Economics, and President of China-US People’s Friendship Association.  From 1995 to 2001, he served as Mayor of Shanghai Municipal Government.  He was also Vice Chairman of the 10th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).  Professor Xu has long been engaged in higher educational institutes and was among the first group of Outstanding Experts recognized by the State Council. He has published over 120 articles and written 7 books.

Mr. Tadashi YANAI

Advisory Council Member, BXAI
Chairman, President and CEO, Fast Retailing Co., Ltd.

Mr. Tadashi YANAI is Chairman, President and CEO of Fast Retailing Co., Ltd., the leading global Japanese retail holding company that designs, manufactures and sells clothing under seven main brands: Comptoir des Cotonniers, GU, Helmut Lang, J Brand, Princesse tam.tam, Theory, and UNIQLO.

Fast Retailing is one of the world’s largest apparel retail companies, with global sales of approximately 1.8619 trillion yen for the 2017 fiscal year ending August 31, 2017 (US $16.87 billion, calculated in yen using the end of August 2017 rate of $1 = 110.4 yen) and UNIQLO is Japan’s leading specialty retailer.  With a corporate statement committed to “Changing clothes. Changing conventional wisdom. Change the world,” Fast Retailing is dedicated to creating great clothing with new and unique value to enrich the lives of people everywhere.

Mr. Yanai started with a single UNIQLO store in Hiroshima in 1984, building this to more than 1,900 UNIQLO stores today across 19 markets worldwide, including Japan, UK, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, US, France, Singapore, Russia, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Germany, Australia, Belgium, Canada and Spain.

In 2017, Mr. Yanai was recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the 100 Greatest Business Minds.  In 2014, UNIQLO was awarded Retailer of the Year Award by the World Retail Congress, and Mr. Yanai was ranked among the Best Performing CEOs in the World by Harvard Business Review.  He has been named in TIME magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential People in the World and has also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from CNBC – leading global broadcaster of live business and financial news and information.  In addition to his role at Fast Retailing, Mr. Yanai has been an external director of Softbank Corp., a Japanese listed company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) that is engaged in the telecommunications and Internet business, since June 2001.

Born February 7, 1949 in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Mr. Yanai graduated from Tokyo’s Waseda University in March 1971 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Economics.  Mr. Yanai is married, with two grown children.

For more information about UNIQLO and Fast Retailing, please visit and