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Claudia Romberg                                                                    

Senior Consultant - Germany

Claudia Romberg holds a M.A. with a major in Japanese History of Religion from Leiden University, The Netherlands.

Claudia lived in Japan for seven years, including two years of studying at Tokyo University and a year as a Visiting Scholar at Tokyo University and Nanzan University, Nagoya.

She worked as Assistant Professor of Japanese Religion at Amsterdam Free University and then started her business career as Executive Director of the oldest German institution in Japan, the German East Asiatic Society (OAG), Tokyo, were she was in charge of major cross-cultural events, projects and publishing. At the same time she worked as a marketing consultant for Dentsu Inc. and other Japanese companies and institutions. She is fluent in German, Dutch, English and Japanese, speaks conversational French and has many years of experience in interpreting.

Claudia has worked as consultant, trainer and coach for almost ten years with more than forty companies, joint ventures and M&As in different industries (automotive, electronics, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, consumer products, etc.) and countries (Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, China and Japan). She holds a certificate in Ericksonian coaching and has facilitated communication and management training programs for multi-national cooperation.

Additionally Claudia is a specialist with many years of experience in the field of Toyota Production System (Lean Manufacturing & Management). Claudia specifically focuses on the question of how cultural backgrounds influence a company's performance system and helps cross-cultural teams to improve and align their processes accordingly.


Aino Bender-Minegishi                                         

Consultant – Germany          

Aino was born and brought up in Japan, attending the German School in Tokyo until the age of 15.  She then attended the German School in Rome, Italy for 4 years.  She studied Japanese at the International Christian University in Tokyo and graduated with a Masters in Art History from the University of Augsburg, Germany.

Aino worked as a key account manager and as a product line coordinator for five years for the German designer clothing company Escada in Germany and Japan.  For the past twenty years she has been living in Munich, working as a tour guide, a freelance interpreter and translator in Japanese, German and English and also as a Toyota Production System trainer for German companies in the automotive, aerospace, steel and semiconductors sectors.

Aino is fluent in German, English and Japanese, has a good command of Italian and a basic knowledge of French.


 Julia Heinrich                                           

Consultant – Germany          

Julia has a degree in the Economics and Politics of East Asia from Ruhr-University Bochum, with a major in Japanese business.  She then graduated with a Masters in International Management, majoring in human resources management, from Bochum University, during which time she also spent 5 months studying in Shanghai, China at Tongji University.

She has been involved in the design and delivery of cross cultural training on Japan as an intern for Pilkington Deutschland and also for Akebono Brake during a one year assignment as intern and contract employee at their headquarters in Japan.


After completing her studies, Julia worked in HR for the Japanese chemicals, cement and machinery company Ube Europe and then joined the Japanese bearings company NSK Deutschland as assistant to the HR director where, among other tasks,  she supported communication and projects with the Japanese headquarters.  In both companies she particularly focused on Japanese expatriate relocation and support, and this has led to her starting her own relocation consultancy.


Julia is fluent in German, English and Japanese and has a basic command of Mandarin Chinese, French and Spanish.


Outside of work, Julia is engaged in a number of volunteer activities to support Japanese-German relations at the German-Japanese Business Association (DJW), the German-Japanese Youth Association (DJJG) and the Asian Social Business Community (ASBC).