Schedule – October 2015

World Health Organization

Date & Time: Octover 8, 2015(Thu) 10:30-11:30 “High-Level Policy-Maker Panel”
Venue: Kobe Portopia Hotel
10-1,6 Chome, Minatojima Nakamachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Japan
TEL: +81-78-302-1111
*Invitation Only


BioJapan 2015

Date & Time: October 14, 2015(Wed) 15:00-16:30 “Addressing Dementia through Integrated Science” *Simultaneous Interpreter
Venue: Annex Hall F203/F204, Pacifico Yokohama
1-1-1 Minato Mirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Japan

Event Contact: Secretariat of BioJapan c/o ICS Convention Design, Inc.
TEL: +81-3-3219-3565 Fax: +81-3-3219-3628

*Registration →


Cambridge Pembroke Players Tour


Pembroke College is the third oldest college at the University of Cambridge, which was established over 800 years ago. On the first Sunday of autumn, I attended a play by the Cambridge Pembroke Players, a student theatrical society, which visited my old high school, Seikei-Gakuin.

Seikei-Gakuin holds an annual “Shakespeare Week” at this time of year and students from Pembroke College have visited the school as part of the international student cultural exchange since 2007.

This year, they performed “The Comedy of Errors” (1). The auditorium was packed with a nearly full audience.

The students said they practice three times a week. Their Japan tour will last for three weeks and their next stop is Meiji University.

It is great to see such students’ activities and I encourage Japanese universities to embark on similar projects.

Discussions with Junior High and High School Students of Seikei-Gakuen


→Here is the web site of Seikei-Gakuen (in Japanese)

On July 22nd, the Nikkei Shimbun ran an article focusing on the topic of how to encourage junior high and high school students to develop the strength to live in the world, featuring a discussion between Principal Atobe of Seikei-Gakuen and myself, moderated by Director Ikegami. It was posted on this website on the news page on August 6th with the article linked here.

In the discussion, we also talked about Choate Rosemary Hall. Mr. Takashi Murata, who has been a supporter of such initiatives, spoke with me in a seminar on studying abroad, held for junior high and high school students and their families.

Mr. Murata is an alumnus of Choate Rosemary Hall and went on to study and graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, where I also spent time as a researcher. He was also concerned with the small number of Japanese students studying at Choate Rosemary Hall. With our discussion moderated by Principal Atobe, we exchanged our views on why students should study abroad.

Although there are several study abroad programs offered at Seikei-Gakuen, we wish to further expand them.

After the seminar, we had a reception for about an hour to speak with the students and their families and had a pleasant time. We have high hopes regarding their choices and futures.

On the previous day, I had also participated in the reception for the U.S. College Fair at the American Embassy.

An Encouraging Message – 3


The world was shocked by the recent scandal surrounding Toshiba, a leading company that represents Japan. It was truly a shame.

The company culture of Toshiba has been said to have played a part. As I posted on this blog the other day, an article pointed out that a more fundamental problem underlying the Toshiba scandal is the mindset of many people in Japan, which the National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC) also shed light upon in its investigation of the nuclear accident. Toshiba is one example of this tendency seen in many Japanese companies and organizations.

The root cause of the Fukushima nuclear accident, as pointed out by the NAIIC report, has been recognized across the world.

It was also highlighted by Reputability, a consulting firm specializing in corporate governance, in their article, “Loyalty- Virtue and Risk”. The article argues that “Groupthink” (1, 2) is typical in Japanese firms.

Even in the case of a major accident on the scale of the Fukushima nuclear accident, vital lessons have not been learned and only superficial issues have been dealt with, reflecting the complacent attitudes of the people in positions of responsibility. Experts around the world are watching Japan, regarding the future challenges and issues surrounding the restart of nuclear power.

Learning from one’s mistakes and being accountable are essential for any organization, company or government to gain the trust of the globalized world.