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Okamura Forges Ahead in Singapore

We talk to Okamura International (Singapore) about how it’s developing greater ties with Southeast Asia’s design community.

Okamura Forges Ahead in Singapore


November 28th, 2012

If you were at Okamura’s 67th anniversary party in Singapore in October, you’d have enjoyed a festive Japanese drum performance as well as a special insight into the company’s latest office furniture products. A sense of Okamura’s Japanese heritage was unmistakable, and this was certainly not by chance.



Okamura still manufactures all of its high-tech, ergonomic office chairs in Japan, adhering to its own long-established quality control standards as well as newer environmental evaluation systems.

Production of tables and cabinets has shifted to Thailand – to an Okamura-owned factory. But outsourcing is strictly off the agenda. Production is entirely managed by Okamura staff.


Zephyr Light


Zephyr Light in a corporate space by SCA Design

“Okamura embodies Japanese quality, not only in our products but in our service too,” says Kazuhiro Nomura, Managing Director of the Singapore branch (pictured at the top of this article). David Tang, Okamura’s Business Development Regional Director, is quick to add that the focus on quality “is the biggest draw to our corporate clients and designers. It’s a great assurance.”


A corporate space designed by Okamura

It has clearly proven reassuring to a number of Japanese companies setting up offices in Singapore. Beyond the supply of furniture, Okamura has developed an interior design wing here that specialises in corporate fit-outs. The majority of Okamura’s global portfolio of interior design work occurs in Singapore, and 95% of that is for Japanese companies.



The Singapore office is one of 8 outside Japan, the others being located in Chicago, London, Rotterdam, Dubai, Shanghai, Beijing and Bangkok.

The decision to open a branch here was initially based, however, on perceived demand for Okamura products from designers. Says Nomura, “I believe Singapore and Hong Kong are the major locations for designers working in the Asian market. That’s a key reason why we’re stationed here.”

And Okamura has been actively engaging the Singapore design community. “At Saturday in Design,” says Tang, “we launched a new workplace desking system that combines a single frame with a variety of desk tops.” It speaks not only of Okamura’s response to changing workplace conditions and requirements, but also of the company’s dedication to product longevity – a component of its internal environmental evaluation system.



In his own office, Nomura sits on an Okamura Contessa chair – the company’s best-selling model. His staff members sit on Baron, a new model (to be featured soon on with high-performance mesh and a unique ankle-centred reclining mechanism.

Says Tang, hinting at busy days ahead, “I think the design community here will be hearing a lot from Okamura in the next couple of years!”

Okamura products are available in Singapore at BW Furniture (for contract customers) and CrossComm Ergonomic Lifestyle (for retail customers), and in Malaysia at XTRA Furniture Malaysia. Dealers are also located elsewhere in Asia.

Top image: Kazuhiro Nomura speaking at Okamura’s 67th anniversary party


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