The young people and the leaders of the world, and Sir. David King of the British Embassy ~Issues and Expectations of Japan as seen from the world


This is an activity report from October 7th to 9th from the following day after I returned back Japan from the selection of UNESCO-L’Oreal prize in Paris.  8 o’clock in the morening on October 7th, I went the BioCamp.  This is a “Camp” conducted once in a year by Novartis, the global company, for about 40 young Asian people since 2005 (Refer:1, 2).  The first camp was conducted in Taiwan, and the keynote was addressed by Dr. Yuan T Lee, the 1986 noble prize winner in chemistry.  The second camp was conducted in Singapore, and the keynote address was given by the Science Minister Mr. Philip Yeo.  And this time, Mr. R. Horwitz of MIT, the winner of medical student noble prize of 2002, and I made the keynote address.  There were probably about 40 participants and the male : female ratio was 5 : 5.   Amongst them, there were 15 participants from Japan and the ratio was 7 : 3 which shows the large number of male participants (this means that there were more female participants from other countries).  I was a bit sad as I had just selected a woman researcher in Paris the previous day.

I came to know later that the event was telecast in the "Mino-Monta’s" morning show on the following day for about 90 seconds, included some parts of my speech.  The program reported this camp as an example of that the private enterprise’s contribution towards the growth of young people.

I had to go Kyoto just after the address.  There was the 4th STS Forum.  There was a short greeting by Prime Minister Fukuda in the morning session.  I could not reach in time for his speech and so I participated from the afternoon session.  This year, the event attendees have considerably increased to about 4 times.  It was a wonderful opportunity to meet the leaders, friends and have new acquaintances (Picture1~4).  The discussion, such as about problems and policies of the world, have progressed quite well since the last year’s conference.  After all, there is no doubt that the climate changes or sustainable society are the main issues of the world, from the last year’s conference.  In this world’s issues, there are huge expectations to Japan, I think・・・.


Picture1 From left myself, Dr. Yuan T Lee, Dr. Yoshikawa and Dr. Waldvogel


Picture2 From left myself, Mr. Charles Vest and Mr. Youngsuk Chi


Picture3 From left myself and Dr. Serageldin, Egyptian ambassador and Alexandria library superintendent

Picture4  Mr. George Atkinson and Ms. Nina V. Fedoroff, the science advisor of Ms. Rice Secretary of U.S State Department

After the STS Forum, I came back to Tokyo on the 9th and I headed towards the University of Tokyo, Institute of Medical Science, from the Shinagawa station.  I participated in the speech about the vaccine development with Mr. Seth Berkley, a founder of International AIDS Vaccine Promotion Plan (IAVI).  (We know each other since the Davos Economic Forum in 2 years ago, and we both participated in this STS Forum)

In this evening, I went dinner with the Science Advisor of British Prime Minister, Sir. David King.  Of course the topic was mainly about the G8 summit in July 2008 in Japan.  4 of my staff (member from the Cabinet Secretariat, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Council on Science and Technology and Science Council of Japan) were also participate.

Japan is the host country for the G8 summit, and deals with the problems of the world,  How are we trying to solve the climate changes and the problems in Africa?  How about Japan’s leadership in Asia?  I feel this might be a crucial moment for Japan at the beginning of the 21st century・・・.

In the G8 summit in Germany, Japan’s contribution was very high though (comparatively I do not think the evaluation within and outside of Japan was good.  It is as usual because of lack of communication strategy), then what can Japan do about the climate change, now?  In addition to this, TICAD will be held in May 2008 in Yokohama.  In spite of the marvelous opportunity for taking leadership about the Africa issue, it is irritating that "intention of the nation (National Policy)" was not conveyed to the world in any of the themes.

I feel this is common sence of the world that Japan cannot be seen in the "rapidly moving world."  This can be said that because of the unexpected change of the cabinet, though.

Well, what do you think about this?  It’s tiring, isn’t it?