Daniel Gordon, Contributor at Large
From communications and computing to healthcare, science and sustainability, Asia’s technology leadership continues to move the world forward in crucial ways. Behind the scenes, Mini-Circuits’ sales office in Japan supplies thousands of business customers with RF, microwave and millimeter-wave electronic components that enable ingenuity and innovation.
Located near Shin-Yokohama Station, Mini-Circuits Japan is central to Yokohama’s cosmopolitan cultural scene as well as Japan’s largest concentration of RF/microwave manufacturers and hundreds of international companies with regional headquarters in the city. Mini-Circuits opened the Yokohama office in 2019. Concurrently, then-Mayor Fumiko Hayashi met Mini-Circuits President Ted Heil at an event promoting the opening of the Office of the City of Yokohama Representative to the Americas in New York.
“The Shin-Yokohama location is ideal for access to Tokyo, Kansai and Haneda,” Heil said. “We wish to further expand our business covering all of Japan and South Korea from Yokohama.”
Almost immediately after opening, the regional office became the busy hub that Heil had envisioned, strengthening Mini-Circuits’ relationships with existing customers while also attracting new customers. Led by Regional Sales Director Thomas Joyce, Mini-Circuits Japan showed rapid growth in 2020. Thomas said he expects the same for 2021 and beyond.
Thomas has 35 years of experience in electronics design, management and marketing in the Japanese and South Korean markets. Originally from Ireland, he moved to Japan in 1986 for a graduate training program and has lived there ever since. Thomas was previously a senior field applications engineering manager at a semiconductor manufacturer, where he spent 11 years before joining Mini-Circuits in 2019.
Mini-Circuits Japan serves some of the world’s largest telecommunications companies—global leaders of 5G—and is also investing significant resources into emerging applications for RF energy. The office supports Mini-Circuits’ entire product catalog for customers in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Mini-Circuits’ longstanding relationships with the region’s most respected distributors and sales reps help Thomas focus on building the infrastructure for long-term success delivering all sales and support for the region.
In January 2022, Thomas welcomes a dedicated, on-site regional field applications engineer, Kit Cox, to Yokohama. Like Thomas did decades ago, Kit comes to Japan from a world away. Kit was a broadcast engineer in California when she saw Mini-Circuits’ job posting for an applications engineer to relocate to Japan. Her familiarity with Mini-Circuits through her work at a news station, paired with a lifelong interest in Japanese culture, made the opportunity an uncanny match.
Kit trained at Mini-Circuits’ Brooklyn, New York headquarters for a year in preparation for the move to Japan. During that time, she helped compile an in-depth e-book that Mini-Circuits released in Japan and wrote a 500-plus-page textbook now used for internal learning and development in the U.S. Working directly with Thomas in Yokohama, Kit greatly reduces the communication response time for customers and Mini-Circuits members alike by bringing seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of Mini-Circuits’ catalog to the Japan time zone.
“We see a lot of potential in this region and its global influence on humanity,” Thomas said. “We’re planting seeds now for as far out as 2024 in the conversations we’re having with customers and the people and processes we’re putting in place to support growth.”