Our Global Philosophy
Otsuka - people creating new products for better health worldwide
To turn our corporate philosophy of ‘Otsuka–people creating new products for better health worldwide’ into reality requires passion, leadership, dedication, diversity and perseverance.

Our Values

The growth of our 40-year-plus European business has been influenced by our Japanese heritage. Our guiding principles of ‘Ryukan-godo’, ‘Jissho’ and ‘Sozosei’ have evolved and developed over generations, and are now fully embedded in Otsuka’s DNA. These principles are the driving force behind our growth and development. worldwide. Ryukan-godo means to discover the core substance of something through hard work and practice. Jissho is defined as self-actualisation through achievement, completion and the discovery of truth. It means that our people are encouraged to move beyond the theoretical. If we think something can be done, the proof is through going out and doing it, persevering until success is achieved and the idea is brought to reality. Sozosei (creativity) is the most essential element for any business that depends on research and development. Creativity means resisting the urge to copy, and instead pursuing goals that only Otsuka is capable of delivering. By harnessing and nurturing the creative potential of our people, we constantly encourage them to push the boundaries of their knowledge, think unconventionally and persevere with their ideas until they bring them to reality so that they are fully aligned with our group philosophy of: Otsuka-people creating new products for better health

Unconventional Approach

Challenging the routine and the ordinary is a philosophy that drives us to do better. Otsuka people think unconventionally in areas where there is an unmet need, researching and marketing innovative products and medical devices.

The Road Less Traveled

We take pride in taking on difficult challenges and not imitating others. It allows us to effectively contribute to better health worldwide and do what only Otsuka can do. We will continue to take the road less travelled in pursuit of delivering pioneering medicines that make a real difference to people’s lives. In Europe’s pharmaceutical business, our 600 employees channel their energy into our key therapy areas of: mental health, oncology, cardio-renal, nephrology and infectious diseases. We are also  exploring how digital health technology can provide additional options for patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals. Rather than following industry trends, we tackle some of the world’s most unresolved health challenges with the Japanese spirit of perseverance.


At Otsuka, we don’t follow the crowd; we don’t just rely on computers for answers – we persevere, trying new avenues until we reach our goals. For example, it took 25 years to research and develop an antipsychotic drug that is now available throughout the world. Many would have given up, but thanks to the remarkable tenacity of our people, it is now one of the world’s top-selling pharmaceuticals.

Big Venture Company

We believe in a big venture approach to treat major diseases, where unconventional thinking will bring success in delivering new and better healthcare products that really make a difference to people’s lives. To make this happen, our employees are encouraged to break the boundaries of conventional wisdom, to cross into the unknown and to think big… and then even bigger!

Date of preparation: April 2018

Reference OPEL/1017/GEN/1134h

Super People, not Super Computers

Super People, not Super Computers

“When a method was developed for modifying the structure of compounds, and thereby developing pharmaceutical products, using a computer, I thought about closing down the company completely. If a computer can do the work without human contribution, then it seemed likely that small companies unable to purchase super computers would be put out of business. The nature of research belongs to people. The large multinational corporations that are capable of buying super computers are struggling to develop new drugs; they are actually buying compounds and developed products from smaller venture companies. Someone told me that ‘Otsuka Pharmaceutical is a large venture company’. People make the company run; people do the thinking. Otherwise, we’d be in trouble.”

 The late Mr Akihiko Otsuka, Otsuka’s former Chairman and Representative Director.


Date of preparation: April 2018

Reference OPEL/1017/GEN/1134r


Unconventional ThinkingThree permanent symbols of creativity can be seen in the Human Development Institute in Tokushima, Otsuka Pharmaceutical’s birthplace in Japan. They highlight how Otsuka likes to think differently and avoid stereotypes.

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A sculpture has been created from two large cedar tree trunks, where a straight trunk is impossibly balanced (held in place by two small wedges) on top of a standing bent trunk. The sculpture is a reminder of the need to think differently and how creativity can overcome seemingly impossible problems.

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The stone garden features large stones, which appear to miraculously float on water. The garden was created to capture people’s interest, enrich the mind and cultivate the ability to think. The stones represent the power that a company can harness by changing conventional ideas and approaches.

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An ordinary tomato plant produces fewer than 60 tomatoes each year, but if you remove the soil and use hydroponics instead, up to 10,000 tomatoes can be produced, as seen in the Tomato Hall in Otsuka’s Human Resource Development Institute. The same concept applies at Otsuka – by freeing our minds to explore, we can unlock our true potential.