To Singapore, Paris and Cassis


Departed for Singapore on 24th afternoon.  Checked-in at the hotel around midnight.  On 25th, there was a board of directors meeting of A*STAR.  We moved crisply with the busy proceedings and discussions as usual, and visited newly established immunity laboratory in the evening.  As Japan is strong in this field, I think that it is a good place for a young researcher to become independent.  Also, I had a talk on the phone with Prof. Ito from Kyoto University virus laboratory who is working here.

Within 24 hours after arriving to Singapore, I left for Paris on 25th late at night.  After relaxing the whole day, in the evening, I had been invited along with Dr. Mario Tokoro, president of SONY Computer Science Laboratory  and Dr. Kitano from the French friends residing in Paris.  So we five had dinner at the exclusive members club situated between Japanese embassy and British embassy at St. Honore.  We talked on various lively topics and I was convinced that the people who are talking with, atmosphere, tradition and the environment of the place are very important.  Such things are not possible even if we spent money and tried to imitate it.

The weather in Paris was wonderful.  Atmosphere was pleasant and the trees were in beautiful greens.  This is the best season to stay Paris in the year.  The feeling was very good.  I stayed in Paris in this season last year too.  Sometimes, it is nice to spend time with relaxation in a foreign country.  However, it was well enough busy schedules.

On 26th, I left from Gare de Lyon to Marseille.  From there I went to Cassis.  It was a small conference with the theme "Sustainability," organized by SONY laboratory.  It was held at Camargue last year.

I visited UNESCO-L’Oreal in March, Minister Pecresse visited me and I was interviewed by French TV in April.  I feel like I am being immersed in France these days.


Photo1  Cassis port


Photo2  Hotel where I was staying.


Photo3 Cassis Coastline

Photos 1~3 are senery of Cassis.  This resort are surrounded by white cliff, it was like Zushi Japan. It is the place where airplane of Antoine de Saint Exupery, famous for "The Little Prince," was hit and sunk down.

ACP Japan Chapter annual meeting


As introduced number of times in this blog, American College of Physicians (ACP) has branch office in Japan and is supported by Japanese Society of Internal Medicine.  It is the first branch outside the American Continent, working on the mission to bring up proper physicians in the global era
Professor David Dale (University of Washington, Seattle), President from the headquarters visited to Japan with his wife this year also and we had a delightful dinner together on April 11th (Photograph 1).

Acojchapter2008Photograph 1
Dinner with Professor Dr. and Mrs. Dale.
From left Professor Dale with Mrs. Dale, Dr. Hiyama, Ms. Miyamoto (Secretary General) , Dr, Ueno and me.

In the annual meeting on April 12th, various ideas were put into in the program.  "Britain-U.S. style case discussion" was conducted for the medical students and residents, and there was a "female doctor’s activity" research presentation and discussion by the medical students in the afternoon session.  This is a program of the committee being organized by female doctors.  The main topics of this year were problems of female doctors, leadership, mentor and there was a powerful lecture by Guest Dr. Heshiki (former professor of Saitama Medical College radiation department who also worked at Johns Hopkins etc.).

Moreover, "Ichimoku Ryozen: self-explanatory" by Professor Gremillion of Kamogawa Hospital in Chiba Prefecture which is well known for its good clinical training is becoming popular every year.  It is a presentation with the well-designed cases that feature examples that are characteristic in Japan also.  Please consider it as model.

Neary 100 members of the branch are doing activities of translating the articles of Journals such as "Annals of Internal Medicine", quickly loading it onto the web-site and informing about it via mail.  This year, they were awarded with the Evergreen prize from head office.  The credit goes to all who participated. I hear that it is utilized by lots of members and used at the actual sites of diagnosis, treatment and clinical education.  Requesting you all to become a member.

Professor Ide who is expanding the activity of "Psychiatry in Primary Care" won the Volunteer Award.

It is an activity also important from the perspective of current state of Japan especially where "depression" is increasing in these 10 years.  Congratulations and expecting increasing activities in the future.

In the end, a reception was held as usual and it was an enjoyable event with the participation of Dr. Hinohara and much more students and residents this year (photograph 2).  Afterward I received many thankful mails from students.  I would like you to experience the world widely and pursue a suitable career in the global era.  The future is for young people.

Jpg2008Photograph 2

With students at the reception. I enjoy this most.

(Photographs from Mr.Hirayama who had sent me a mail)

Visit of Minister of Higher Education and Research of France


On  April 10th, Fillon, Prime Minister of France and Ms. Valerie Pecresse, Minister of Higher Education and Research arrived to Japan, and Ms. Valerie Pecresse visited me on April 11th in the morning.  I met her in June and December last year.  She has studied Japanese when she was a student, and has worked about two times in Japan previously.  She entered the room and suddenly asked "How are you, Kiyoshi-san ?"  in Japanese.

The focus of the discussion was the G8 Meeting of Ministers of Science that is going to be held this year in June in Okinawa before G8 Toyako summit and the discussion about scientific policy and higher education policy.  France is in the midst of major reformation of universities and national research institutes and is struggling hard with the demonstrations of students and people related to the universities(on the other hand, it seems that the Japanese do not have energy to demonstrate).  Her activities are wonderful considering that she is still 40 and upbringing two children.

Minissterpecress02Photograph 1 With the Minister Ms. Pecresse

In the evening, I attended the welcome party organized by the Prime Minister Fillon at the France Embassy.  Danjyurou (a Kabuki actor) greeted in fluent French language and he showed the performance of "NIRAMI"(Kabuki movement of driving away bad vibes) and "GANRIKI"(Kabuki’s strong expression of eyes).  After the welcome speech of Prime Minister Fillon, I went to Swiss ambassador’s residence to attend "Thank you" reception of Davos Forum held this year.  After that, went for dinner with the Professor Dr.and Mrs. Dale (Chairman of ACP, American College of Physicians).

Announcement of Winner of Noguchi Hideyo Africa Prize


Prime Minister Mr. Koizumi announced "Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize" during his visit to Africa in May 2006.  The prize is granted in 2 sections, the prize for the medical contribution for health problems of Africa and other one is contribution for health care, which attracts the attention of not only Africa but also the world.  The award ceremony is held in this end of May joining with TICAD.  On this occasion, 2 winners were decided and announced.  Although I had played a role of the chief of selection committee member, I was very glad for getting out the unanimous conclusion. 

Mr. Greenwood from England was awarded in the medical field had played an active role in the medical field for 30 years in Africa as a doctor and contributed for the various measures against malaria and infective diseases.   

In the health care field, Dr. Were of Kenya was awarded.  Despite many objections, she also built the fundamental sanitation environment over 40 years keeping focus especially on females and children and continued it steadily.  She has great contribution in promoting the health in Kenya as well as in Africa.

This news was reported all over the world especially at Rockefeller University, WHO(which very much supported Dr. Noguchi as his centers of activities), UZIMA Foundation and World Bank(which are the center of activities of Dr. Were). 
I think this is a good opportunity to give momentum to Japan leadership towards TICAD in May and G8 summit in July though.

Following sites are the news reports and responses from various countries. Please refer it.

British Embassy in Japan
Ministry of Foreign Affairs

<international organization>
World Bank
Rockefeller University
Gates Foundation
Rockefeller Foundation
Roll Back Malaria Partnership
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Medicines for Malaria Venture
Association of School of Public Health
Global Health Council
Society for International Development
UN radio
University 500 news

<press coverage inside Japan> (English version. There were many articles in Japanese.)
Japan Today

<press coverage outside Japan>
Kenya Broadcasting Corporation
Capital FM
Africa Science News Service

Africa News Source
Africa News
The Nations (Kenya)
Medical News Today
Medical Health Articles
Health Care Industry
a2 media group
Med Store News
Latin America News Agency
Kinhua PR Newswire
Institute of Medical Infomation/Medical Library in China
YNCDC in China

However, still Japan’s Overseas Aid has declined remarkably.  In the 1990’s, it was world’s No.1, having great contribution in revival of Asia and also in growth.  Now Japan, still the world’s 2nd country in GDP, is
on the 5th place and it is assumed to be distanced by US, Germany, France and also by UK.  It is predicted to be distanced one after another by Holland, Spain etc.  Although it is the financial condition, it is regrettable.  It becomes a national reliance and trust problem.  Japan has difficulty in changing its policies.

Though the world has changed rapidly, Japan is too focused to domestic issues to change.  Isn’t it?  The leaders respectively from government, bureaucracy, industry and academia have to contribute definitely.  Anyone can give reasons for not doing something.  Responsibility is the behavior.

Welcoming Leaders-to-Be on Global Health


One of my former associate at Health Policy Institute, Mr. Ban-no (see blog on Aug. 2007.~sorry, but this is in Japanese on my visit to New Delhi), who now studies at Harvard University School of Public Health.  He brought with him some 30 classmates to Japan and I was invited to give a welcome speech for their Day 1.  I began by asking them whether they read or listened to the 2007 Commencement speeches at Harvard by Bill Gates and another one at Stanford 2005, by Steven Jobs.  Surprisingly or not, a handful knew about these speeches, thus I strongly recommended them to read and view them on the web, benefits of our connected world.  Mr. Gates and Jobs both delivered quite passionate and moving messages to these selected small number of students what they could think of in their future career.

I discussed the issues on global health, MDGs, and related matters they would and should challenge.  It was a very enjoyable one hour for all and all students seemed enjoy our interaction.  One student from Iraq later sent me a moving email which reflects the status of his country and his career and I replied with encouragements toward our common goals.

Harvardsph030801photo1 Our group picture

They then will visit a couple of places over a week.  But when I was told that they will visit Hiroshima with a visit to A-Bomb memorial, I strongly suggested them to try to see Ms. Nassrine Azimi, Director of UNITAR in Hiroshima.  She is one of the most intelligent and most inspiring persons I met.  So I called her office, but she was out in Thai, then, but just back in time to greet them later in the week in Hiroshima.  I received an email from Mr. Ban-no to tell me how fortunate they felt they were to see her even for a short time to discuss various matters including A-Bomb and also a ‘thank you’ email from her, too.  Unexpected encounters are often a step for something new of significance and I am sure this could be such one for some of students.