Students from India


I reported earlier in my blog that I went to New Delhi in relation to the YES program of Honda Foundation in February this year.

In that YES program five students were awarded.  They were students from IIT which is a prestigious university in India.  Out of these students, four studied in Japan for 6~8 weeks from the end of May.  Mr. Jain participated in the research of robots at Honda, Mr. Goyal did research at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Mr. Tomar did the research for 4 weeks at the Okazaki Laboratory and Tsukuba University respectively, and Mr. Agarwal participated in research at JVC.  All of them gathered at GRIPS (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies) to participate in the round table talk before going back to the home country the next day.  I have heard that one person did his training in Google as there was some problem for acquiring Japan visa.  It is very unfortunate as it is such a trivial thing.

I asked everyone to talk about the awarding ceremony of Honda YES Award, their conversation with Mr. Pachauri, and about their personal experiences in these several weeks in Japan.  All four talked about how they enjoyed the study and doing the research in Japan, how everybody helped them very kindly, how they could do the exchange with many young people and how wonderful the teachers were who gave them splendid guidance.  Mr. Agarwal stayed with a host family who treated him very well.  It seems that everyone had a wonderful experience.  During the talk, everyone commented on the differences between India and Japan which they often experienced.  Hands-on experiences like these at young age are very important.  I am confident that they will all become precious "ambassadors of Japan" with wonderful memories of Japan in their mind.  I said so to the students, too.

We had dinner together in the evening.  I am thankful to many people including those from Honda Foundation who helped us.  International exchange of young people like this is inconspicuous but it is an extremely important activity which would increase the fans of Honda in India as well as the world.  It is a delightful thing.  I would like to see such type of activities expand more and more.  I would be happy if this kind of efforts arise more from civil and/or private sector.  Expanding personal relationships from the young age is the basis of making friends internationally and also to nurture the diversified human talents (resource) in this global era.  It is most important for the future of Japan.

Furthermore, to encourage youth of Japan to have actual experiences overseas is even more important. Knowledge only is not useful.  Activating the bilateral exchange is an important policy through which big effects towards the future of Japan in the global era can be expected.  After all, nowadays, there are too many extremely introvert Japanese.

Japanese businesses go to Africa


This year, I had many opportunities to write columns on Africa in my blog (ref. 12 ).  Japanese mass media also brings up topics about Africa often this year partly because we had TICAD4 and G8 summit.  I have written in my column "Cape Town," but the "Nikkei Business," a business magazine in Japan also writes about how Japanese companies are active in this area.  Please take a look, since my comment is in it at the end. (※A free registration is necessary in order to read the whole article on NBOnline.)

It is exciting to see Japanese businesses going abroad.  I appreciate their effort very much.

MBA students in pharma-business from Philadelphia


Philadelphia is my American home-town where I started my professional career in US at the University of Pennsylvania.

The University of Science in Philadelphia is unique and it offers various programs focusing on pharmaceutical and pharmacy sciences and businesses: it also offers courses for MBA program in this area.  The MBA program offers students a summer course to visit Japan and this year it includes a visit to GRIPS where I am a member of faculty.  I hosted a seminar taking an interactive dialogue style posing a wide range of subjects relevant to these future professionals in healthcare and global health issues.

Photos  Group photo and the session at GRIPS

Philadelphia01_3 Philadelphia02

As I did for Harvard students of School of Public Health, I began asking them how many know and watched on the web of the commencement speeches of Steve Jobs at Stanford in 2005 and of Bill Gates at Harvard in 2006.  The background of about 10 students was quite diverse, which made the session a very interesting and rich.  I enjoyed very much the exchange.

Heat-Pump, a highly effective energy efficient ‘cool’ technology

Heat-pump extracts heat from ambient air and deliver several-filds more energy, to generate heating/cooling, thus serves one of core technologies of energy efficiency and savings.  Indeed, the majority of currently available products utilizing this technology are made by Japanese companies, but their efforts for global visibility and marketing have not been vigorous enough to capture, to a significant magnitude, the global marketplace where the technology is most and badly needed.

We recently campaigned on behalf of the Tokyo Electric Company for its heat-pump products, with two prominent academics, Professor Komiyama, President of the University of Tokyo and Professor Kato, among other prominent posts, Dean of Keio University, President of Chiba College of Commerce.  One of such activities which appeared in Nikkei, a major newspaper among the Japanese business establishment, as noted in this website in Japanese.  This advertisement in English has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal and in its Asian version per attached.

“GLOBE Tokyo G8+5 Legislators Forum,” a movement initiated by politicians throughout the world


"GLOBE Tokyo G8+5 Legislators Forum" was held in Tokyo on June 28th and 29th.  Japan was represented by Mr. Yatsu, the former Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan.  Mr. Morley, the Minister of Environment of Mr. Blair’s regime, presided the 1st session on day 1 (I saw him at the G8 Environment Ministers meeting also), which started off with the greetings by Mr. Fukuda followed by key note speeches by Mr. Blair, the former Prime Minister of England, and Mr. Abe, the former Prime Minister of Japan.  Everybody spoke very well.


Photo1 Greetings by Mr. Fukuda with Mr. Blair and Mr. Abe


Photo2 Key note speech by Mr. Blair


Photo3 Mr. Abe

Though this forum was founded in 1989, since after the Earth Summit held in Rio in 1992 it constituted mainly of the nonpartisan congress members of all the countries.  Framework for "G8 Gleneagles Climate Change Dialogue" was formed during the Gleneagles Summit held in 2005.

Video messages from the U.S. senators, Mr. McCain, Mr. Obama, Mr. Kerry, and Mr. Snowe were also played.  A common theme that their messages held was that "With the new U.S. President, the Parliament, the large-size U.S. corporations, more than 500 U.S. Mayors and U.S. State Governors participating, America will make a historic transformation towards ‘Cap and Trade’ and formation of a ‘Low-carbon Society’."  Japan, it seems, is the only country adopting a wait-and-watch policy.  It is vital that politics, the government, the corporations as well as the citizens be well-prepared.

Discussions during the forum were highly dynamic.

I had a speech on day 2 (photo4), though it was a bit difficult for me since the session was on forests and biodiversity.  I heard the request for a lecture a week before, and considering the fact that my speech was to be interpreted simultaneously in 9 languages so I decided to use the lecture that I had delivered at Kobe as a basic document, prepared a manuscript by including the above mentioned themes and circulated its copies among the interpreters as well the participants (the manuscript contained many errors since I was unable to proofread it sufficiently) before I spoke.


Photo4 My speech on Day 2