OpenAI opens its first Asia office in Japan


OpenAI has inaugurated its inaugural Asian office in Tokyo, Japan, marking a strategic move by the ChatGPT developer to broaden its global footprint.

CEO Sam Altman expressed enthusiasm about the expansion, stating, “We’re thrilled to establish ourselves in Japan, a country renowned for its fusion of people and technology to drive innovation.” Altman believes that AI holds the potential to enhance productivity and creativity across various industries, ushering in new opportunities for growth and advancement.

In line with this development, Tadao Nagasaki has been appointed as the president of OpenAI Japan, tasked with spearheading commercial and market engagement initiatives.

The selection of Tokyo as the office location was deliberate, attributed to its prominence in technology leadership, culture of service, and vibrant innovation community.

As an initial step towards fostering collaboration with local businesses, OpenAI is offering early access to a custom GPT-4 model optimized for the Japanese language. This bespoke model promises enhanced performance in translating and summarizing Japanese text, coupled with cost efficiency and up to 3x faster operation compared to its predecessor.

Several prominent Japanese corporations, including Daikin and Toyota, along with local governments, are leveraging ChatGPT to streamline their operations and improve efficiency.

Altman’s meeting with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida last year hinted at OpenAI’s interest in establishing a presence in Japan.

OpenAI gained widespread recognition following the public debut of its ChatGPT chatbot in late 2022. With backing from Microsoft and reportedly nearing a private market valuation of $100 billion, the company has solidified its position in the AI landscape.

In a related development, Microsoft announced plans to invest $2.9 billion over the next two years to bolster its hyperscale cloud computing and AI infrastructure in Japan. This significant investment underscores Microsoft’s commitment to the Japanese market, marking its largest-ever investment in the country since its inception 46 years ago and coinciding with the establishment of its first international office.