I arrived Dubai very early in the morning, checked in at Jumeirah Al Qasr Hotel, the same hotel as last year, took a quick shower and went off to the conference. I was here at GAC last year (Ref.1), too.
Building agenda through a process of ‘Brain Storming’ by various leaders of the world will, without doubt, increasingly become important in this quickly flattening global age. While I admit that participating in a number of Councils is intense and tiring, it is still very exciting, enlightening, and rewarding because you learn so much by exchanging different views and thoughts.
However, Future of Japan (FoJ; Co-chaired by Dr. Takenaka and myself but Dr. Takenaka was unable to come to Dubai this time.) was exhausting. We – Drs. Heizo Takenaka, Yoko Ishikura, myself, and several others – did prepare draft plans in Tokyo but at the morning session in Dubai a drastic change was recommended, became a different story, and we had to re-write. We worked very hard concentrating to make our recommendations on an agenda of the Davos meeting to be held in January.
After this morning session, everybody kept on being busy attending various Council sesions. I joined in sessions on Innovation and a few others. There was an additional joint session with FoJ and Future of China, Future of Korea. We asked Dr. Ishikura to moderate this session, too, because she is a very good and effective moderator. Many of the members of the three Councils, Japan, Korea and China, know each other through various WEF conferences such as Davos and Dalien.
Various scenes from the forum are on the web, for your reference.
The FoJ meeting resumed again late in the afternoon. Mr. Charles Lake of Aflac, Mr. Mitachi of BCG (in Japanese), and Mr. Tsuchiya of WEF Tokyo Office (Dr. Ishikura was very tired as you can imagine) concentrated for 3 hours to develop a new plan. I was sorry that Dr. Ishikura had to bear such huge burden that whole day. Of course everybody was extremely helpful, but I think we should think of better ways of processing our Council paper . I honestly think so.
Next day, I participated in several wrapping-up sessions and enjoyed them very much. The forum closed at about 2:30 pm.
Photo1; At the lobby of JAL Hotel in Fujairah. From left, Drs. Nishiyama, Tanaka, myself, Tamura, and Kondo
Photo 2; At Marco Polo, a restaurant at JAL Hotel in Fujairah
To kill the spare time before our departure from Dubai on 03:45 next morning, five of us; Dr. Akihiko Tanaka of the University of Tokyo （I met him just 2 days before; Dr. Tanaka is Vice President of Internal Relations）,Dr. Jiro Tamura of Keio （One of the authorities on Study of Negotiation, who works together with Dr. Daniel Shapiro of Harvard Law School, who runs Program on Negotiation – a young but very sharp, nice man）、Mr. Kohei Nishiyama, founder of Elephant Design （a fantastic company!）, Dr. James Kondo who is leading Health Policy Institute, and myself chartered a car and went to Fujarirah, one of the seven emirates of theUnited Arab Emirates located at strategically important point along the Strait of Hormuz at Persian Gulf.
The travel took about 2 hours one way and the town was not so lively but we enjoyed driving the desert going through rocky mountain arriving at the coast by sunset. Oil stations, and old mosques were things to see. The JAL Hotel at Fujairah was pretty nice and we decided to stop by for dinner. It was a good opportunity to get more acquainted to each other (for example, we found out that Dr. Tanaka of politics was an Apple freak for 30 years and his iPhone content was quite something) and we had a good time.
We arrived at the airport by midnight. I met several Japanese participants at the lobby and climbed into the plane for the return trip. Thank you all for your good job well done!