Showcasing AI-powered business transformation in Japan

This blog is part of the AI worldwide series, which highlights customer stories from around the globe. Read more stories from India, Australia and New Zealand, France, and Brazil.

AI’s transformative power is now evident globally. Deemed a technology of the future not long ago, AI-powered business transformation is unfolding across all sectors. It’s clear that mastering AI is crucial for maintaining a competitive edge, and Japan has risen to this challenge. Bolstered by robust infrastructure, advanced technological capabilities, and significant government support for AI initiatives, Japan ranks second on the Asia-Pacific AI Readiness Index.1

To support this progress, Microsoft plans to invest $2.9 billion over the next two years to expand hyperscale cloud computing and AI infrastructure in Japan. This marks the largest investment Microsoft has made in Japan since it opened its first international office there 46 years ago.

The investment also emphasizes AI digital skilling, which Microsoft aims to provide to more than 3 million people in Japan within three years, targeting full-time and part-time workers, developers, students, and especially women. In partnership with Japan’s government, we will open the first Microsoft Research Asia Lab in Tokyo. Here, we’ll focus on embodied AI, societal AI wellbeing, and scientific discovery aimed at strengthening cybersecurity defenses in response to Japan’s updated National Security Strategy.

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Microsoft’s expanded initiatives and partnerships with educational, governmental, and private organizations in Japan are poised to enhance AI capabilities across various sectors and amplify the societal benefits and economic growth that are already part of Japan’s culture of innovation. I’m excited to showcase some of the very organizations that are contributing to AI leadership, not only in Japan or Asia, but globally.

Dentsu unlocks employee creativity with Microsoft Copilot support

Dentsu, a global leader in creative media with a 120-year history and 72,000 employees, has effectively integrated Microsoft Copilot into its operations to tackle the increasing demand for high-quality content across multiple channels. As part of this integration, Copilot has been deployed to automate routine tasks such as email management and meeting recaps, and to enhance creative processes through faster ideation and content visualization. This strategic deployment also includes Microsoft Teams Premium, which offers features like intelligent recap and real-time translations, optimizing communication across dentsu’s global teams.

The adoption of these AI tools has significantly benefited dentsu employees by reducing the time spent on administrative tasks, thereby allowing more time for creative and strategic work. For instance, the automation provided by Copilot has saved employees approximately up to 60 minutes per day, translating into substantial productivity gains across the company. These efficiency improvements have also led to superior creative outputs, enabling dentsu to maintain its competitive edge in the fast-paced media industry.

“We started using Copilot with the hypothesis that it would elevate our people’s potential and bring additional value to our clients. I am delighted our high expectations proved to be accurate based on survey data and insights as we work to broaden access to this and other generative AI technologies,” said Brian Klochkoff, Executive Vice President, Innovation & Emerging Technologies at dentsu.

Moreover, the integration of AI has facilitated a cultural shift within dentsu, fostering an environment where technology enhances creativity rather than replacing it. The company continues to explore new AI capabilities through initiatives like Microsoft Copilot Studio, aiming to expand the use of AI across various functions to further streamline operations and enhance creative capabilities.

Recruit Co., Ltd. uses conversational AI to address nuanced customer requests

Recruit Co., Ltd., a prominent human resources technology company, has implemented a conversational AI user interface for, one of Japan’s leading travel booking platforms, powered by Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service. Initiated in May 2023, this innovative application aims to quickly gather user feedback and adapt to customer needs not typically met by conventional search functions.

As a result, user interactions on have been significantly enhanced through more dynamic exchanges that accommodate nuanced and implicit customer preferences related to travel themes, purposes, and modes, which were previously difficult to discern. Attracting tens of thousands of users monthly, the implementation has been widely accepted, with negative reactions constituting less than 1% of user responses.

The successful implementation of has prompted wider integration of Azure OpenAI Service within Recruit itself, creating more than 30 internal environments for projects like interactive resume building and internal information sourcing tools. Moving forward, the company plans to automate approval processes for AI usage and integrate internal data into AI models to enhance personalized experiences, maintaining a focus on security and compliance.

TXP Medical enhances emergency response with AI-powered mobile service

TXP Medical has released an AI-based smartphone application for paramedics, NSER mobile. With nearly 22,000 users per month, NSER mobile streamlines traditional, labor-intensive operations such as manual data entry, paperwork, and direct telephone communications, which are error-prone and time-consuming. The service incorporates AI-powered voice command input, allowing emergency personnel to input patient data hands-free using voice recognition algorithms that accurately interpret medical terminology, even in noisy environments, while AI-powered image analysis processes images of medical documents. Employing Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and advanced image processing allows NSER mobile to quickly extract essential data, speeding up the conversion of visual information into digital formats and reducing the need for phone confirmations with hospitals.

The impact of the NSER mobile service is notable, particularly in Kamakura, Japan, where it reduced average telephone communication time with hospitals from 3 minutes and 30 seconds to 2 minutes and 44 seconds, doubling the target time achievement ratio.

Overall, TXP Medical’s NSER mobile service not only boosts the operational efficiency of emergency medical teams but also improves patient care quality. It showcases AI’s potential to transform emergency medical services by optimizing critical processes and easing the workload on healthcare providers.

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DENSO enhances robot’s understanding with generative AI

DENSO Corporation, a leading automotive parts manufacturer in Japan, is leveraging Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service to develop advanced autonomous robots capable of human-like interaction. Designed to understand and execute tasks based on verbal instructions, DENSO faced numerous challenges, including the robots’ ability to adapt to unforeseen circumstances as well as managing the complexity of programming, ensuring operational accuracy, and integrating advanced AI technologies into practical robotic applications. These challenges were compounded by the need to create user-friendly interactions that allowed non-technical users to easily operate and instruct the robots based on simple verbal commands.

Advanced generative AI powered by Azure OpenAI Service addressed these challenges by enhancing the robots’ ability to understand and process complex verbal instructions for greater adaptability and functionality. The service improved operational accuracy through features that allowed for precise action selection based on input text, simplifying the programming process and making the technology accessible to non-technical users. Additionally, Azure’s cloud-based infrastructure facilitated scalability and flexibility in deployment, and streamlined the development processes, reducing complexity and boosting efficiency across various applications.

In addition, GitHub Copilot significantly enhanced DENSO’s development process by quickly generating and testing new robotic functions, thus reducing costs and accelerating capability expansion. This tool streamlined code generation and debugging, improving productivity and easing the learning curve for new developers.

Takeshi Narisako, Executive Officer of Cloud Service Development Department at DENSO, views the project as “a good start to research and development to create social value through the use of generative AI.” Looking forward, the company will invest in ongoing collaboration with various organizations, including Microsoft, to harness technological and operational strengths, furthering the development of AI-powered robotics and enriching society through human-robot interactions.

Mitsubishi Corporation leverages Azure OpenAI Service for customer GPT

Mitsubishi Corporation, one of Japan’s leading trade, investment, and management companies, is using generative AI to streamline text operations and support better investment and management decisions. Having explored AI from various vendors since 2015, including OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the company’s IT Services Department opted for Azure OpenAI Service to further the development of its custom generative AI application, MC-GPT, emphasizing security and comprehensive features.

“First of all, Azure itself is largest global service with the ability to handle a variety of languages including Japanese and English and operates securely at a high speed,” explained Hidenori Kurashima, team leader of the Process Transformation Promotion Team of Mitsubishi Corporation’s IT Services Department. “In fact, in the area of generative AI, Microsoft is ahead of the competition. On the other hand, peripheral tools such as Azure Cosmos DB and Azure Synapse Analytics are also available, making it easy to integrate with Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel that we use in our daily work.”

Within two months of adoption, the company had created and evaluated two prototype applications internally. In collaboration with partner Knowledge Communication Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi established a robust environment for deploying Azure OpenAI Service extensively, integrating it with additional Azure services like Azure Cosmos DB and Azure Synapse Analytics for superior data handling and user interface development.

The prototypes generated interest from 12 different departments, prompting the company to create a customized AI engine using its internal data to address both overlapping needs and department-specific requirements. Looking forward, Mitsubishi plans to harness Microsoft’s extensive AI offerings, including Copilot for Microsoft 365, to further streamline business processes, boost operational efficiency, and enhance decision-making in investments and management.

AI for everyone in Japan

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These stories illustrate the substantial progress Japanese companies are making in integrating AI across sectors and highlight Japan’s collective commitment to reinforcing its position as a global leader in innovation.

Microsoft’s extensive investment and strategic initiatives underscore the robust foundation being laid for cutting-edge technological advancements and AI integration, focusing on enhancements in digital skilling, cybersecurity, and AI-powered automation that supports economic growth and fosters an environment where technology enhances human creativity and operational efficiency.

We hope these narratives have not only informed but also inspired you to explore how AI can revolutionize your own fields of interest or business. As we conclude our series, we encourage you to take the next steps in your AI journey, leveraging the insights and innovations shared to ignite transformative projects in your own organization.

Take the next step in your AI journey by exploring Microsoft’s AI solutions, diving into our insightful white paper on the five pillars of AI success, and getting skilled up with Microsoft Learn’s AI learning hub to ensure you’re ready to leverage Microsoft AI to its fullest potential.


1New Salesforce Report Reveals How Asia Pacific AI Readiness Will Impact Deployment of Generative AI, Salesforce.

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