Seiji Omote has over 50 years of experience in Japanese sales and marketing in the log, lumber, and structural panel businesses.
Seiji’s career started in 1969 when he worked for Ataka & Company, marketing softwood log and lumber from North America, New Zealand, and Russia.
In 1977, he joined Seaboard Timber and Plywood Asia Ltd. in Tokyo, a subsidiary of Vancouver, British Columbia-based Seaboard Lumber Sales Company, a cooperative of BC solid wood products producers established to sell members’ products on the international market.
During his 15-year tenure with Seabord, Seiji introduced British Columbia’s SPF dimension lumber to the Japanese market and established the J-Grade specifications. He also introduced BC coastal species to Japan, especially higher grades of Sitka Spruce, Western Red Cedar, and Yellow Cedar for various high-end end-use segments—including the construction of temples and shrines.
While at Seabord, Seiji worked for a couple of years in the Vancouver Corporate Office, where he gained a deep appreciation for the North American culture. In 1990, he returned to Tokyo as general manager of Japan operations.
At the time of Seaboard Lumber Sales’ dissolution in 1993, Seiji joined Interex Forest Products Ltd., a sales and marketing organization established to represent the SPF membership of Seaboard Lumber Sales, as General Manager of their Tokyo-based Japanese operation.
In 1995, Seiji was promoted to the position of President, Interex Forest Products (Japan), Ltd. During his 20-year tenure with Interex, Seiji participated in the growth of the SPF business; contributed to the development of the 2×4 platform frame construction system, a method of construction that today accounts for about 20 percent of Japanese wooden housing starts; and introduced oriented strand board (OSB) to Japan for member company Ainsworth.
Since his retirement from Interex in 2013, Seiji has been active as an Independent Consultant to the forest products business, playing an advisory role to several organizations including the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan as Governor and Member of their Honorary Board of Advisors.
Seiji graduated from the Liberal Arts Program of the Nanzan University in Nagoya, Japan, majoring in English and Economics.