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Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.

Representative Director and President

Yoshiharu Ueki

Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. Yoshiharu Ueki
Your Life, Your Choice

There was a time when Japan Airlines relied too much on the government and did not have a sense of responsibility. Although I was worried that the company will not go back to its old constitution even after the reconstruction, I was just an ordinary pilot for 35 years since I started here, so I did not have a good grasp of what the constitution was like in the past. Therefore, I thought that there was no way it would go back. I have built the courage to push through my beliefs even when everyone is turning against me. Sometimes I make fun of myself and tell myself that I cannot read between the lines well. However, if I was not that kind of person, things will not change and there will be no innovations. I'd like to tackle matters with a sense of individuality.

Year of Birth
1952
Birthplace
Kyoto
Name
Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.
Headquarters
Tokyo
Founded
1951
Type of business
Transport
url
https://www.jal.com/index.html
My father was a movie actor in Toei. When I was a child, my brother and went frequently to a Toei studio near our house during vacations and pretend being in a sword fight. It was the best playground ever. My mother was not the type who would object on what I wanted to do. She would always support me as long as I would not break any law or cause trouble to anyone. When I said that I wanted to learn the violin, she brought me to an instrument shop on the same day. However, once I have decided to do something, I had to promise to continue doing it for three years. Because of this, the habit of preparing and taking responsibility on my own decisions has been deeply ingrained in my being. It was summer of my second year in high school when I suddenly thought of going to Europe alone. My mom bought me an open ticket, stayed there for three months, and made a lot of friends. I wanted to reunite with them someday, and I thought that the best profession that will enable me to do it was to become a pilot. When I told my mother about it, she assured me saying, "It would be tough, but I know you are serious about it". That weekend, I went to an aviation school in Miyazaki and aimed for admission.
I know most people aspiring to become a pilot may have started from liking the view of the sky and airplanes since they were a kid, but my story was quite different. However, when I started training and maneuvering a plane, I have learned to love it more than anyone else. It is perhaps the reason why I stayed very long in my profession. Working in Japan Airlines as a pilot for 35 years, I truly realized what it feels like to do my job as if my life is at stake for it. With 500 passengers in my hands, one mistake on my part will possibly mean loss to these many lives, so my life is really at stake here. That is why, I take pride in doing my job, and I think of it as something of great worth.
It was during the bankruptcy in 2010 when I was offered an executive position in the company. At that time, I was 57, and the only thing I knew was to fly an airplane. I could say that being a pilot was my entire life, and I wanted to retire as a pilot, so when I reflected about this offer, I was restless for three days and three nights. I decided to accept the offer. Besides, even if I retire as a pilot, I would have no regrets if I die spending the remainder of my life helping in the reconstruction of my company. Perhaps my loyalty for the company is not over-the-top, but the people working for it are very dear to me. I just wanted to do anything that I could for my struggling colleagues. First of all, every employee must be aware that the company is actually failing, and that they have to be conscious about changing their own selves so that they can help bring change to the company. Most of the people in the company work on site. They can directly see how the passengers react, so they will easily realize that a change in awareness actually works. The spirits of our employees has truly renewed. Therefore, I am confident that I will be able to run this company as their President. In the beginning, there was a huge gap between the management and the people on site. But it was the latter who played the leading role after the collapse, so I would like to dedicate my career in taking good care of them. In that case, we need to gain the trust of the people in the site because they are one of tools to the company's success. That is why I believe that I was chosen to become the President of this company. 


If there's one thing that we should not lose as a company, it should be the trust given by our employees. Without it, the company will fail. I'd like to focus on the role of winning the hearts of the employees, as we already have a lot of skilled officers who could think of strategies for finance and business. After all, I believe it is the most important job for the management.

Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. Yoshiharu Ueki
Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. Yoshiharu Ueki

*Information accurate as of time of publication.

Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.

Representative Director and President
Yoshiharu Ueki