Kazuo Tanaka graduated in 1983 from Tokyo University of the Arts, majored in industrial design. He is president and CEO of the GK Design Group Incorporated, a comprehensive freelance design office in Japan founded in 1952 by Kenji Ekuan. Kazuo Tanaka has been elected president of the Japan Industrial Designers Association (JIDA) and taking on many kinds of activities since 2013.
In 2007, he was elected member of the board of directors of the World Design Organization (formerly Icsid) and has been active, also as a regional adviser, in many international programmes. Kazuo Tanaka has also been serving as a board member of Japan Institute of Design Promotion (JDP), as a member of the Study Group on the Relation between Industrial Competitiveness and Design and the Japan Patent Office (JPO) of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). He also has been involved as a juror in many international design promotion activities and was awarded the Good Design Award Prime Minister Prize, the SDA Grand Prize and many other awards.