Visit to Washington and then New York


On January 6, I went to Washington DC from Narita airport.  It was very warm just like last year.

In the afternoon, we went to the Holocaust Memorial Museum along with Mr. James Kondo, my colleague at Health Policy Institute, our “Think Tank.”  The plan and building of the museum had been well designed but I felt the stupidity of mankind.  With only slight differences, the same things are happening again and again even today somewhere in the world and it is madness.  Preserving, exhibiting and exposing such historical records and documents are very important.  Otherwise nothing can be learned and the same things could happen again and again.  It’s foolish isn’t it?

The following day, on January 7, there was a meeting with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in the morning. (Photo1).  Lunch for me was arranged in the members’ lounge, exclusively for the members of National Academy by invitation of Dr. Nina Fedoroff, Scientific Advisor of U.S. Department of State.  It occurred to me then I could have used this lounge since I was a member of Institute of Medicine (IOM) too and we talked about various topics with Dr. Fedoroff and Mr. Arimoto.  We were able to network with various people while talking and Nina was kind enough to making several phone calls.

Photo1  From left-Dr. Goldin, former director of NASA, Dr. Cicerone, chairman of National Academy and introduced many times, Dr. Serageldin, Director of Alexandria Library


On that day, there was a board meeting of IOM coincidently, thus I came across my old friend, Dr. Victor Zhau (Mentor of Dr. Ryuichi Morishita of Osaka University, well known in Digital New Deal a forum to support as a cheering group member of ‘Innovation 25’).  Dr. Zhau is now a powerful person running every thing from the medical school to the hospital at Duke University.  I also met Dr. Fineberg, President of IOM with whom I had lunch just 1 year back.  It is good to have professional friends.

(By the way, I had been selected as ‘DND person of year 2007’ in Digital New Deal, mentioned just before.)

I also met Dr. Bruce Alberts, the President of the National Academy for 12 years, who had devoted his special attention to support developing countries.  This is the first time we had met since last October.  He told me that he has returned back to the University (UCSF) but the work is becoming monotonous.  He will become an Editor-in-Chief of “Science” magazine this coming March.  So I joked with him “You will be famous won’t you!.”  In the afternoon, I visited the World Bank and met Mr. James Adams, Vice President of East Asia and Pacific Region and Mr Alfred Watkins, Science and Technology Program Coordinator.  I gave a lecture about 'Innovation for Development' for about 45 minutes in the auditorium.  You can watch it on the webcast.  Though it was the beginning of New Year, lots of Japanese were in attendance as it seems Japanese embassy announced.  Many questions were asked and it was fun.


Photo2, 3  After lecture in World Bank (In Photo2, the person on left in front of me is Mr Watkins.)


Photo4  At the exit of World Bank, with Mr. Ebata of Japan embassy
(Mr. Ebata had been previously assigned to Samawah in Iraq)

In the evening I visited Dr. Marburger, scientific advisor of President Mr. Bush (Photo5, 6). After that, I returned back to the National Academy and met Dr. Charles Vest, who has been a Principle of MIT for more than a decade (Photo6).  In this way I could meet heads from all three academies of the National Academies in one day.

Photo5, 6  In the conference room of Mr. Marburger
(Photo6 Joan Rolf, administrative secretary. He had been in Japan for about 2 years and is fan of Japan.)




Photo7  From left-Myself, Dr. Goldin, Dr.Vest and Mr. Arimoto

I had to excuse my self during dinner and returned to New York from Ronald Reagan Airport.

It was one busy day!  The temperature during the day was 18 degrees and really warm. The temperature last year was more than 20 degrees. Is this proof global warming?!