Kaz graduated from Rikyo University in Tokyo, with a Master’s degree in Business Administration, and joined C. Itochu & Co. Ltd. (now Itochu Corp.) as a trader in industrial minerals. Stationed in Japan, Australia and Singapore, Kaz worked for Itochu until 2002, trading in a variety of industrial minerals, including rare earth element products for the phosphor, magnet, glass and ceramic industries. Itochu was one of the first trading companies to introduce Chinese rare earths to the Japanese market.
After leaving Itochu, Kaz established his independent consulting business, Kay Investment Ltd., and continued trading in rare earth oxides between China and Japan. He also assisted Lynas Corp. in the development of the Mt. Weld rare earth project in Australia.