The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

If your image of a dentist is of a trained professional providing dental care to a single community for most of his life, then you haven’t met Hiroshi Matsumura!

From the top floor of the Tokushinkai Quartz Tower—
a brand-new, 12-story building in Shibuya—Tokushinkai Chairman Matsumura plans to provide the best in dental and medical care to patients on five continents.

Matsumura dreamed big, and now sits at the helm of an international organization comprising 70 bases in Japan and overseas, with 1,200 staff.

Quartz Tower is a brand-new, 12-story building in Shibuya.

Quartz Tower is a brand-new, 12-story building in Shibuya.

Opened in November 2015, the Tokushinkai Quartz Tower embodies Matsumura’s dream of providing cutting-edge dental and medical health, along with technical know-how, to patients under a single roof.

Matsumura is proud of the Japanese universal health insurance system. Even in the early 1980s, however, he rationalized that the falling population and resultant financial constraints meant that the system was heading for a breakdown.

“The test is how to reduce the burden on the state without increasing the burden on the patient,” he said.

The majority of patients here are treated under the national health system, but a growing number of people are prepared to pay extra to receive special care, he added.

Yet Matsumura stresses, “It is health care that I want to provide, not a health-care business.”

The Tokushinkai Quartz Tower surgery caters to all types of patients. The fourth and fifth floors house a comprehensive dental center offering care under the national insurance system, while the seventh-floor surgery functions under private health care.

Unlike other surgeries that are more likely to have dental components such as implants produced by a technician in a separate location, Matsumura’s seventh-floor surgery is adjacent to a technicians’ area.

As such, they can provide not only on-the-spot treatment, but also immediate technical adjustments.

Real-time communication is also maintained between patients, dentists, and technicians, who in some cases are located overseas, via a web-based 3D communication screen.

That means remote technicians can fine-tune implants to the needs of patients, while talking them through the process.

Tokushinkai Chairman Hiroshi Matsumura

Tokushinkai Chairman
Hiroshi Matsumura

Tokushinkai maintains four technical teams in Japan, as well as teams in China, Myanmar, and the United States, that create dental components.

The eighth floor houses a medical center, including internal medicine, orthopedic, and dermatology specialists, as well as a headache clinic.

For patients from overseas, Matsumura’s clinic provides treatment in Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean, and he is looking to add more languages in the future.

While Japanese dental and medical treatment is generally excellent, the underlying system can sometimes be baffling to non-Japanese.

Matsumura aims to achieve international recognition for his clinic by acquiring accreditation from the Joint Commission International (JCI), a US-based organization that “identifies, measures, and shares best practices in quality and patient safety with the world,” according to the website.

Matsumura has created an entire floor that is compatible with JCI requirements, and hopes accreditation will make it easier for patients familiar with the organization and its rigorous requirements to visit his dental office.

Although JCI accreditation has been granted to a number of hospitals in Japan, at present, no dental surgeries have been accredited.

With his eye on a truly international future for the Tokushinkai, Matsumura said, “I want to see us receive JCI accreditation in the next year, without fail.”

Tokushinkai Quartz Tower
2-10-10 Shibuya 7F
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Open 10:00 to 19:00

Martin Foster is a bilingual writer who has lived in Tokyo since 1977. Martin spent much of his career in financial journalism, and now focuses on various aspects of business and the economy.