Press "Enter" to skip to content

University attended by William Saito says he did not graduate

William H. Saito attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in 2016
William H. Saito attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in 2016

TOKYO (TR) – The university attended by noted entrepreneur William Hiroyuki Saito, who last month apologized for misrepresenting his background, has said he did not graduate.

In an email received on Friday, the University of California, Riverside (UCR) confirmed that Saito did not receive a degree from the institution.

“Our records show a William Hiroyuki Saito attended from Fall 1988 to Fall 1992. We do not show a degree having been earned,” wrote John Warren, the Director of Media Relations.

After writer Ichiro Yamamoto questioned the background of Saito on his blog, including whether he graduated from the UCLA School of Medicine, the entrepreneur issued an apology via Twitter on December 22. In an entry on his personal site, Saito admitted that he did not graduate from the medical school as he had previously claimed.

In explaining his side, Saito wrote that he began attending a biomedical sciences program at UCR that has an affiliation with UCLA in 1988. The latest development reveals that Saito also did not graduate from UCR.

When contacted to clarify his educational background, the entrepreneur did not immediately respond.


Known as an expert in cybersecurity, Saito founded founded I/O Software in California as a teenager in 1988. He later started the venture capital and technology consultancy InTecur after moving to Japan from the U.S. in 2005. Saito became a special adviser to the Government of Japan regarding cybersecurity in 2013.

As previously reported, Saito resigned from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Cabinet Office in the middle of December. METI confirmed via an email to The Tokyo Reporter that Saito resigned due to “personal reasons.”

On the same day that he issued the apology, Japan Airlines Co. announced Saito’s resignation as executive officer, general manager of Digital Innovation Promotion Department.