Michael Lacktorin

Michael Lacktorin
Michael Lacktorin

Mike Lacktorin is founding dean of the International College of Liberal Arts, a small, rigorous 4-year college established in April 2015 within the campus of Yamanashi Gakuin University in Kofu, Yamanashi.

 Mike is a 5th-generation Swede-Norwegian American. He was born and raised in Minneapolis-St Paul, Minnesota. He first came to Japan in December 1977 as a short-term student at Sophia University in Tokyo. One year later, he transferred to Sophia from pre-medicine studies at the University of Minnesota. Upon graduating from Sophia University in December 1980 with a BA in Comparative Culture, he joined the International Finance department of Nomura Securities Co., Ltd. in Tokyo as a financial analyst and the first non-Japanese hired by Nomura as a ‘regular employee’ (seishain).

 Two years later he returned to the US to do an MBA in finance at the University of Chicago and later re-joined Nomura on Wall Street as co-founder of its M&A business in the US. He returned to Japan at the end of the 1980s to found a small management consulting unit with Nomura Research Institute focusing on foreign firms in Japan and then became vice president and head of the Merchant Banking and M&A activities of Citibank Japan. After Citibank, he established Greater China Investments (GCI), a small consulitng firm that helped Japan’s small and medium-size companies, in the face of a rapidly appreciating Japanese yen, relocate their production facilities to Dalian and Shanghai, China.

 Mike is the first American to graduate from Keio University with a PhD in Economics. His PhD thesis was title ‘A Theoretical and Cross-Sectional Analysis of Foreign Direct Presence in Japan.’ He is co-author of two books on the Japanese economy and financial system and has taught as a full-time university professor for more than 20 years in Japan, Australia, and America. In 2004, he was dean and one of the founders of Akita International University (AIU), which now ranks above University of Tokyo as the top university in Japan in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

 Mike served honourably as a non-commissioned officer in a combat unit in Vietnam in 1970-71. Mike dedicates his life to the promotion of world peace and cross-cultural understanding through international higher education.



Keio University,Ph.D. (Economics)


University of Chicago, MBA (Finance)


Sophia University, BA (Comparative Culture)


Akita International University, International Affairs and Head, Japan Studies Program, Dean


Akita International University, Global Business Program, Director and Professor


Kansai Gaidai University, Asian Studies Program, Professor


University of Puget Sound, Business Policy Program, Assistant Professor


University of Western Australia, Department of Economics and Commerce, Lecturer


Nagoya University of Foreign Studies, International Business Department, Professor


Greater China Investments, Founder and CEO


Citibank Japan, Merchant Banking and M&A, Vice President and Head


Nomura Research Institute, Researcher


Nomura Securities International, M&A, Assistant Vice President


Ford Motor Company, World Headquarters, Financial Analyst


Nomura Securities Co., Ltd., International Finance Department, Analyst


U.S. Army, Germany, Vietnam, E5

Mike’s lecture at Aberdeen University, where he was awarded.
Above: Mike receives his Shogun award presented by Ronnie Watt OBE ORS at the Elphinstone Institute, Aberdeen University during his academic tour of Scotland on 20th February 2017.