Harvard Club of Japan Ben Makihara Memorial Lecture Series

From Japan, Harvard to San Francisco for

Realizing “Secure AI Transformation”

- A Talk by Kojin Oshiba -


The Harvard Club of Japan is pleased to announce our first Ben Makihara Memorial Lecture, presenting a talk by Mr. Kojin Oshiba, Co-Founder of Robust Intelligence, Inc.

The event will be moderated by Tsunehiko (Tsuney) Yanagihara, Partner of Allegis Capital, and former Executive Officer of Mitsubishi Corporation.

Talk overview:

Inspired by his peers expanding their activities overseas in his high school days, Kojin Oshiba had decided to study abroad and entered Harvard University, where he devoted himself to research in AI security where he discovered critical vulnerabilities in AI systems.

He will share stories with attendees about the turning point that led him to study abroad for his BA degree and launch an AI security startup with his academic supervisor in San Francisco. His startup's approach to AI risk management through automated red teaming and other research-based approaches, as well as prospects for secure AI transformation, will also be covered in the talk.

After his talk Kojin will open the floor for a Q&A session.


Seating is limited to 40 persons, on a first-come, first-served basis, so make sure to register early!

Please register for the event using the reservation function below.


***Note that cancellations after noon on Thursday, June 6 and no-shows will be charged the full participation fee, as we are committing to the venue on a per-person basis. By registering for this event, you are agreeing to comply with this policy. Your understanding of and compliance with this policy are greatly appreciated!


Date: Friday, June 14

Time: Door Open: 18:30 / Talk start: 19:00 / Reception 20:00 – 21:00

Venue: Orque D’Or Salon TOKYO

Address: Nihombashi Takashimaya Mitsui Building 9th floor

                 2-5-1 Nihombashi, Chuo-ku,Tokyo

Participation fee: 6,000 JPY per person, to be paid IN CASH at the door

(covers event participation and standing buffet, with separate cash bar)




Orque d’Or is a members-only club made available to us by special arrangement with a member.

Please do not contact Orque d'Or or engage with their staff directly for any reason.

Pre-event enquiries should be directed to HCJ Events Co-Director Jonathan Harlow at the email below,

or to the HCJ staff present at the event. 

Dress code: Business casual - Collared shirts, no shorts or sandals.

Child policy: Children of middle school and above only.

For any problems registering or other enquires please e-mail HCJ Events Co-Director: jonathan@jonathanharlow.com


7:00PM - 9:00PM Fri 14 Jun 2024, Asia/Tokyo timezone


Orque D’Or Salon
Nihombashi Takashimaya Mitsui Building 9th floor 2-5-1 Nihombashi, Chuo-ku

[ Get Directions ]

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Kojin Oshiba Profile:kojin_photo
Kojin Oshiba, A.B. ‘18 is a co-founder of Robust Intelligence, a San Francisco based AI security startup offering a platform to automatically validate and protect AI applications. The company has raised a total of $60M led by Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global, and is trusted by leading organizations including JPMorgan Chase, IBM, the U.S. Department of Defense, Deloitte, Tokio Marine and NEC.
Kojin received his BA in Computer Science from Harvard prior to founding Robust Intelligence.
He has also written multiple papers on AI security accepted to top AI conferences such as ICML and NeurIPS.
Kojin was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 2024.

Tsuney Yanagihara Profile:yanagiharaphoto2266-------------
Tsunehiko (Tsuney) Yanagihara is currently Partner of Allegis Capital, a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley.
Allegis Capital invests in early stage startups in the US and Japan. Allegis Capital`s investment themes are enterprise software, fintech, cybersecurity and climatetech.
Tsuney is formerly Executive Officer of Mitsubishi Corporation, Tokyo, Japan and Executive Vice President at Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas) working in Palo Alto, California. He has extensive international business experience, having spent 39 years in business management positions within Mitsubishi Corporation.
Tsuney began his career with Mitsubishi Corporation in 1984 in the Machinery Group. In 1993, he moved to the Chemicals Group and became Managing Director of European Precision Molding B.V. in the Netherlands. He returned to Japan in 1999 and served as General Manager at the Life Sciences Business Unit and Bio-Fine Chemicals Unit. From 2010 to 2015, he worked in the Washington D.C. office as Senior Vice President and General Manager, focusing on domestic and international trade policy issues. Before moving to lead Mitsubishi’s Silicon Valley Office, he served as General Manager at the Chemicals Group CEO Office of Mitsubishi Corporation.
Tsuney holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Amherst College in Massachusetts. He has kept strong ties with Harvard Business School. Most recently, Tsuney has helped HBS prepare a case study on his Silicon Valley experience titled “M-Lab: Enabling Innovation at Mitsubishi Corporation” with Professor Krishna Palepu.

About The Harvard Club of Japan Ben Makihara Memorial Lecture Series
-----------------------------The Ben Makihara Memorial Lecture Series is an annual lecture held by the Harvard Club of Japan to honor the legacy of Mr. Minoru “Ben” Makihara.
Ben Makihara pioneered and served as a leader of ties between Japan and Harvard against a backdrop of Japan’s rise as an economic power after WWII and the transformation of the US-Japan relationship from one of bitter enemies to a close friendship and alliance.
A hard-working student with a talent for English, Minoru’s success during his high school years in Tokyo in winning the MacArthur English speech contest were among the factors that fueled his dream to study in the United States, and boosted his confidence to aim for what he called “the top level”: Harvard University. He consulted with Kenneth Viall, a Harvard-educated priest at the Episcopal Church in Tokyo, which had been allotted by the US Occupation authorities some land on the Iwasaki estate, where Makihara lived with his mother. Viall was at first concerned that the distance between Harvard and Minoru in geography and culture would be too great to bridge. But taken with the student’s determination and passion, Viall helped arrange for Minoru to get a full scholarship for a year at St Paul’s prep school in New Hampshire as a launching point to apply to Harvard.
At St. Paul’s Minoru acquired the skills and visibility he needed to get into Harvard, as well as the nickname Ben. He also made such an impression on St. Paul’s that a program was formalized to encourage top Japanese students to apply there.
At Harvard, Ben chose to major in Government. His undergraduate thesis, “Social Values in Capitalist Development: A Case Study of Japan”, explored Japan’s growth after the Meiji Restoration. After his graduation magna cum laude in 1954, Ben stayed abroad one more year on a Sheldon Fellowship before returning to Japan.
Ben joined Mitsubishi in 1956 and subsequently served as General Manager of the Washington Office of Mitsubishi International Corporation, U.S.A. (1971), President of Mitsubishi International Corporation (1987), and President and CEO of Mitsubishi Corporation (1992). In 1998 he was named Chairman, a position he held for six years.
In 1993 Ben Makihara  joined the Committee on University Resources (COUR), a lifetime membership organization of major donors to Harvard. He was Chair of the Harvard Japan Campaign, helping raise significant funds for the Asian Center at 1730 Cambridge Street, and a plaque there acknowledges Ben’s efforts. In 1999 Ben joined the Asia Center Advisory Committee and served until 2018.
Ben also served for many years on the Visiting Committee of the East Asian Studies Department, and as an Advisor on the Advisory Committee to the HBS Global Research Center. Partly through Ben’s efforts, a center in Japan was subsequently founded and remains active today. An active contributor to the activities of the Harvard Club of Japan, Ben mostly worked behind-the-scenes, though at various times he served as a Governor or in an official advisory capacity to the club.
Minoru Ben Makihara received the Harvard Medal in 2004, his 50th reunion year.
Among the many noteworthy activities contributing to the US-Japan relationship outside of his Harvard roles are his service as US-Japan Business Council Chair from 1997-2002 and Chair of the US Japan Conference on Cultural and Education Exchange (CULCON) from 2008-2014.
As a formative presence in The Harvard Club of Japan community for many decades, Ben’s character and efforts helped directly shape the arc of the relationship between the United States and Japan, and between Japan and Harvard.

The Ben Makihara Memorial Lecture commemorates this extraordinary service, which sets an example for us all.