From Davos, part3


The morning of the 25th was busy. I had an early morning meeting with Dr. Tachi Yamada from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to discuss about the upcoming February conference in Tokyo and other meetings that I had arranged. In the afternoon, I attended a session related to innovation and joined the beginning of plenary session “New Drivers of Development” chaired by Ms. Indra K Nooyi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pepsi Co. Participants were Mr. Bill Gates, Mr. Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Mr. Robert B Zoellick, President of World Bank, Mr. Michael Treschow, Chairman of Unilever and Mr.Trevor Manuel, Minister of Finance of South Africa (photo1,2).


photo1 From left: Mr. Gates, Mr. Brown, Ms. Nooyi, Mr. Zoellick, Mr. Manuel and Mr. Treschow


photo2 Ms. Nooyi

The reason for attending only the beginning was because I had a session with Ms. Sadako Ogata, Bono(photo3) and some big figures who represent Japan. We discussed how Japan can show their initiative globally to make a move on development in Africa, TICAD and G8 summit and respond to the expectation from the world. Other participants were Mr. Okuda, former Chairman of Toyota Motor Corp, Mr. Yasuhisa Shiozaki, Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi, Mr. Matsuura, Director General of UNESCO and Dr. Komiyama, President of the University of Tokyo. I met with Bono and his staff yesterday and I think we will continue to work together in the future. Bono respects Ms. Ogata very much. He is well aware of Japan’s successful and long ODA history in Africa which is different to that from Europe and America. This year is an important year for Japan and he is seriously considering how Japan can show its presence. I was surprised at how much we can do. I learned a lot. He also said that during the 3-day concert in Japan, 120,000 fans gathered, which I later heard that he tried several attempts to send his message to the world through the crowd. He feels the passion that everybody is considering what they can do to make a change, but with the current political level, it is not well communicated inside and out.


photo3 With Bono before the meeting

Also, John Gage from Sun Microsystems joined. He supports Bono and Al Gore’s activities and I’ve been meeting him every year in Davos for 4 years. I hope my blog readers give consideration to what we can do and expand our will to the vast world to realize it. Then, I ran into Larry Page(who is very interested in climate change and global health and established the Google Foundation), the founder of Google which I introduced in last year’s report with some photos and Steve Grove from YouTube (photo4,5).


photo4 With Larry Page and Steve Grove


photo5 With Dr. Hirotaka Takeuchi from Hitotsubashi Univ, Mr. Tsuchiya from the World Economy Forum Secretariat, Larry Page and Steve Grove

(Mr. Tsuchiya studied with Steve Grove at Harvard Kennedy School. Isn’t that interesting, it’s the value of each individual in this global era.)

Tonight, Prime Minister Fukuda will arrive at Zurich. He will arrive at Davos the following morning and meet with Tony Blair, Mr Bono, Bill Gates and will deliver a speech. After that, I heard his schedule is full with luncheon meetings with the business community. I wonder whether the Prime Minister is really satisfied with his speech draft, but the speech writer must have worked hard to prepare it. The world’s opinion will show us the result. How will Japan be reported? How do the foreign media see Japan? What is the real opinion that doesn’t show up? At night, I met a lot of people at the ASEAN reception, but ended up with the usual members, Victor Chu (He is well known everywhere. He said that he travels 250 days a year for business. Wow, what an energy!) and John Gage. We had a drink at a bar at the hotel next door. Dr. Michael Porter from Harvard Business School joined and we had a great time together. This is the excitement of Davos.


photo6 With Mr. Chu and Mr. Gage

I am invited to a “Bollywood Party” hosted by India from 23:00, let’s see…