I was busy the whole day today. I attended a session called "Islam/South East Asia" in which my old acquaintance, Dr. Jusuf Wanandi, was one of the panelists. The panelists include those from Malaysia and The Philippines. At the same time, another panel focused on Japanese economic trends, entitled ‘Japan: Beyond the Recovery" was held (obviously I could not listened to); my associate James Kondo, whom I mentioned in yesterday’s column, was the moderator. Dr Heizo Takenaka, Dr Takatoshi Ito and Mr Kakutaro Kitashiro, Chairman of the Board of Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai-Doyu-Kai), were panelists among others. I was told Dr Takenaka concluded the session very well.
In the afternoon, I attended a session Madame Yuriko Koike, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister for National Security Affairs (Picture 1) was a panelist. Afterwards, I had a preliminary discussion with the person in charge of the panel discussion tomorrow, which I will be moderating. I also saw Shri Kamal Nath, the Minister for Commerce and Industry for the Government of India. I met him in India last November. I saw Dr Hirotaka Takeuchi, Dean of Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy at Hitotsubashi University and his wife. They said they hadn’t visited Davos for a few years. I met with Mr Yoishi Funabashi, a well known journalist whom I last saw almost three years ago (he had already written two columns in Asahi News and elsewhere about Davos Forum of this year…impressive!).
In the evening, there was a reception ‘Japan Night’. The Japan Water Forum hosted this reception but I thought it was a bit strange: more official bodies or corporate sector should organize this kind of gathering. The Japan Water Forum is an NPO and the president is former Japanese Prime Minister, Yoshiro Mori. This NPO is working on solving water problems around the world. Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki, the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva, whom I met in Geneva when I visited the WHO last week attended the reception. Hiroshi Komiyama, the president of the University of Tokyo, Yuichiro Anzai, the President of Keio University and his wife, Haruhiko Kuroda, the President of Asian Development Bank, and Hiroyoshi Watanabe, President of JETRO were attendees of Japan among many others. The founders of Google, Mr Larry Page and Mr Sergey Brin, also showed up among many guests. I have posted a picture with Mr. Page; Mr. Brin was near us too. If you check the history of Google, you can find many interesting things. I heard Ms. Koike attended a panel discussion, ‘Military/ Asia’ that began eight o’clock that night.
From eight o’clock at Japan Night, ‘Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story’ (45 minutes movie) was screened. Everyone watched until the end and was touched by the movie. My appreciation to those individuals that came all the way from Japan for the movie.
From ten o’clock, I went to the reception by ‘McKeinsey Global’ and met Professor Michael E. Porter of Harvard and few others. Today was indeed a long day was for me.
Picture 1 With Ms. Yuriko Koike, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister for National Security Affairs.
Picture 2 With Prof Heizo Takenaka.
Picture 3 With Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki and Prof Yoko Ishikura.
Picture 4 From the right, ProfHirotaka Takeuch, me, Prof Hiroshi Komiyama, Mrs. Anzai, Prof Murasawa (Special Advisor to the President of University of Tokyo), and Prof Yuichiro Anzai.
Picture 5 Mr. Larry Page, one of the founders of Google.