Opening Keynote at the G8 Environment Ministers’ Meeting


I was invited to deliver Opening Keynote to the G8 Environment Ministers’ Meeting in Kobe , May 24th.  What an honor and privilege!  But then a headache.  I was told simultaneous translations to Japanese, English, French, Chinese and Spanish was scheduled.  So, I decided to prepare my speech in English and deliver it in English.

When you listen to any speech through simultaneous translation, simply it is difficult and frustrating because translation is always, by its very process, a bit behind the actual speech, sometimes few words are obviously missing, thus you are not sure to what extent the translation is correct.  But of course unless you understand many languages almost perfectly, this process is unavoidable in international meetings.

Thus, I prepared my entire speech after a few editing and reading myself, I sent my text to translators assuring in a memo that I will read the text so that you just follow in the language you are supposed to translate.  No power-point slides, of course.

Photo 1 and 2  ambience of the conference site Dsc_0247g8kobe05240801_2

Dsc_0214g8kobe05240802 I felt really good after I finished my speech, when UK Minister Honorable Hilary Benn came to me at the podium and told me it was very well thought-out, constructed, and well delivered, and he was very impressed. Wow! such comments by a British political leader, a real native English speaker.  We chatted for a few minutes at the podium.

Thank you, Honorable Minister Kamoshita giving me this honor and privilege.  But three days must have been very hard for you all.

I left Kobe immediately and back to Tokyo to see Dr. Pachauri , Chair of IPCC, you know who he is.  We met in New Delhi this February.