About Us


With offices in Tokyo and Osaka hosting a team of more than 70 full time researchers and 100 staff interviewers, CarterJMRN is a full service Japan-based market research and innovation insights agency. Our history began in 1989 with the founding of the Japan Market Resource Network, which merged with Carter Associates in 2012.

In those more than 30 years we have worked with most of the major international brands to have entered and prospered in Japan. As a proudly multicultural agency, we are known for the cultural depth and effectiveness of our responses to clients’ challenges, applying intelligent and efficient design to deliver actionable outcomes. We work to deliver highly practical, prescriptive and actionable insights, no matter how difficult the challenge seems.

We believe that, although the terrain you face in building a successful marketing strategy and activation path sometimes seems obscure, the path to success is knowable and that the consumer is the guide who will show you the way. Our work is creative and stretching yet grounded in the consumer’s life, their culture and the truths they reveal. We combine the tools of the market research trade with our sense of collaboration, thinking, creativity and boundless enthusiasm to help you create the understandings that drive you to action. Our goal is nothing less than to help you create a successful partnership between your brand and the people who trust it.

The CarterJMRN Family

Debbie Howard


Debbie has lived and worked in Japan for over 30 years, and founded JMRN in 1989. Debbie is a specialist in translating qualitative research into clear strategic direction for international clients, and over her career has worked with most major brands that have entered Japan. She served as President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) in 2004 and 2005, Chairman in 2006 and 2007, and continues to serve as ACCJ President Emeritus. Debbie also serves as an advisor to the US-Japan Bridging Foundation, which facilitates study-in-Japan programs for U.S. college students.

Dominic Carter

Representative Director & CEO

A double major graduate in marketing and Japanese studies from the University of New South Wales, Dominic came to Japan from Australia in the late 90’s to launch and develop the Japan business of a major global research company. His career highlights include being local managing director for a top ten global research agency, founding his own business in Japan and helping some of the largest brands in the world use research to influence real improvements in their Japanese business performance.

Takashi Iizuka

Chief Operating Officer

When it comes to getting things done the right way there is nobody you would rather have on the case than Takashi. He will do whatever it takes to ensure that methods are precise, data is accurate and deadlines are met without any compromise on quality. Having studied in the U.S., he is bilingual and a skilled communicator. He commands a high level of respect from both colleagues and clients or indeed anyone else who has come into contact with his operational expertise. With experience in a leading global research agency and as key manager of a number of high-profile projects in Japan, Takashi is very well placed to handle complex, customized research demands.

Marika Lind

Client Director & Partner

Marika has worked in the insights and strategy area of marketing research for almost 20 years. Marika is a specialist in reaching the heart of the Asian consumer using traditional modes such as focus groups and depth interviews. However newer techniques such as ethnography, semiotics and consumer immersion form an important part of her toolkit, as well as client innovation and immersion workshops, she also creates inspirational multi-media deployment materials. She has lived in both Japan and Singapore and worked extensively across most Asian markets, including Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

Risa Hamada

Senior Client Service Director & Moderator

With a 20 year background in strategic planning on both the agency and client sides, Risa brings a wealth of experience to CarterJMRN projects. A graduate of Central Michigan University, majoring in Interpersonal Communications, Risa has moderated workshops and focus groups for product categories ranging from household products to diamonds. Her calm and understated manner helps encourage respondents to open up and give real insights. It is estimated that she has conducted over 3,000 focus groups since 1995.

Takeshi Tomizawa

Client Service Director

Tomizawa-san is a highly experienced researcher, with particular strength in quantitative research for clients in the luxury and tobacco industries. His quantitative research for these companies helps to revaluate their relevance in the Japanese market, in order for them to discover areas of new opportunity. He also has a flair for the English language, and has a very engaging way of articulating concepts. When not at work, Tomizawa-san loves to play the electric guitar and enjoys seventies rock music.

Susanne Walloscheck

Client Service Director

Susanne is dedicated to identifying emerging movements in popular culture and translating that information into relevant knowledge for brands and services over the last 17 years. She explores the convergence of brands, products and consumers in order to define and recommend the best route to success in clients’ target markets across Asia. In addition, Susanne was highly engaged, serving as the Chair at the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ). Susanne holds a Master’s degree in Communications Management from the University of Applied Sciences Deutsche Direkmarketing Akademie in Berlin, Germany.

Hideki Motohashi

Senior Client Service Director

Hideki has managed research for the movie and entertainment industry for over 20 years, working with major movie distributors such as Disney Pictures and utilizing a variety of methodologies, including focus groups, in-depth interviews, and central location tests. His extensive experience ensures the delivery of deeper contextual insights to clients. On the rare occasions when he is not delving into the development of new entertainment offerings, Hideki loves enjoying the great outdoors, and is an expert fisherman.

Shingo Kuwahara

Account Manager

Shingo is a tireless researcher who currently divides his time between our offices in Tokyo and Osaka. When overseeing projects he steers the research towards a quality execution and a thorough collation of results and analyses. Quietly confident in the precision of his methods and careful in managing the research team, Shingo is ready to deal with projects of vast and varied proportions.

Alejandro Lopez

Project Coordinator

Alejandro graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.A. in Sociology, after having proudly served for four-and-a-half years in the United States Army National Guard. While in university, he actioned on his dream to experience Japanese culture by securing a 1-year internship living and working in Japan in marketing and marketing research for multinational financial services giant AIG. Alejandro subsequently joined CarterJMRN, where he is honing his qualitative and quantitative research skills in a wide range of categories, including food products and services, digital news, and entertainment, among others.

Saori Hirasawa

Project Manager

Saori is dedicated to the smooth running of project work by supporting client-communications and internal translations with her excellent English skills, which she acquired as a student in the US. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from UCLA, where she became drawn to this field after becoming an assistant researcher for a lab studying human interaction and physiological reactions to conversation. With her recent work experience as a data processor for a Japanese quantitative market research company, she also contributes to quantitative outputs. Saori hails from Akita, which is famous for its different varieties of festivals. It is this love of traditional culture, that keeps her travelling around Japan festival hopping.

Keito Kobayashi

Assistant Project Coordinator

Fascinated by mega global market trends and the whys of what influences people to make the choices they do, Keito has taken the opportunity to become a researcher of consumer insights. He believes this profession is the starting point for companies to create interesting ideas and market opportunities. His role involves controlling data quality improvement in orders to maximize the value of our services. Outside the office, he uses his naturally inquisitive personality to pursue his interests in food and fashion.
Riku Kitamura

Riku Kitamura

Project Manager & Moderator

Born in Seattle and raised in Tokyo, Riku is a bilingual, international researcher and moderator with 5+ years’ experience working for both international and domestic clients, with a strong focus in the fields of FMCG, digital, and gaming. Riku was graduated from the University of Washington at Seattle, with a BA in Biochemistry – a fitting foundation in the micro-mechanics of living matter.
Despite having lived in Japan for 20+ years, he finds himself even more passionate today about identifying new trends and staying on top of changing consumer mindsets in Japan. Riku lives by the motto of “seeing is believing”, and enjoys diving into the sources of trends and experiencing them himself to enhance his personal understanding. A self-proclaimed “foodie”, Riku enjoys both eating as well as cooking. He cooks a wide repertoire “from scratch”, ranging from Italian Focaccia to Taiwanese food stall dishes.
Hitomi Uchiyama

Hitomi Uchiyama

Project Manager & Moderator

Hitomi was born and raised in Tokyo, and has worked in the market research industry for 10+ years, following her graduation from Japan Women’s University with a BA in Human Sciences and Design. Her experience in moderating crosses a wide range of categories, from daily beverage brands to medical and healthcare, in which she specialized for six years. Currently, she conducts online as well as offline FGIs and IDI. Her calm and friendly moderation creates a comfortable feeling among respondents, encouraging them to discuss openly. Hitomi works hard using her skills to gain deep insights that connect with strategic planning. In her spare time, she enjoys surfing, gardening, and traveling new places.

Mariko Miyashita

Assistant Project Coordinator

Mariko embraces cultural differences and lives her life as you might expect from someone who was born and raised in the U.S., graduated from Waseda University in Japan (with a BA in International Liberal Arts), and then obtained her MSc in International Development from the University of Manchester in the U.K. Her wide and richly varied experience sparked her curiosity and fascination for the how’s and why’s of culture and its influence on people’s lives. Through her studies she enhanced her skills in secondary research and subsequently joined CarterJMRN, where she is further honing her skills in project management and as a market researcher to support companies and brands in their explorations into culture and the role it plays in drawing out consumer insights from a local and global perspective.
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