From early in the morning on Nov. 9 participants from Japan held a breakfast meeting on the conference hall terrace (Photo 1-4). Almost everyone at the conference from Japan was there. Can you tell who’s who?
Photo 1-4: A meeting with participants from Japan
After breakfast more brainstorming, and then the closing session. Each of the 8 clusters of large themes gave final presentations in about six minutes. Please watch the webcast of the closing session which was moderated by BBC’s Nick Gowing. I was quite impressed with the polished skills of the speakers, wrapping up their presentations within the given time frame.
After the summit I rested a bit at the hotel before I made a trip to the new Dubai Mall. It recently opened right near the construction site of what will become the tallest building in the world, Burj Dubai. Amid Japanese flagship brands like SONY, Canon, and Panasonic, the Japanese bookstore, Books Kinokuniya, is also in the mall. There is a huge aquarium with a 75-centimeter thick acrylic viewing panel. Who else could it be that manufactured something like this? Of course, the Japanese company Nippura.
Photo 5-10: Dubai Mall
I think a total of about 400 people were at the conference. There were more Japanese participants than usual. I think Japan’s increased presence at the conference, which comes at a time when there are signs of a global paradigm shift occurring because of the financial crisis, is a good thing. Overall, however, many working-level people, both in politics and business, seemed to have been absent because of the uncertainties in the financial sector and economy. I felt like participants, both from Japan and elsewhere, were mostly academics or “independents”. Attendance of people in finance was of course low.
In the evening I went to dinner with Ambassador to the UAE Takuma Hatano and others to the restaurant, Zheng He’s. (FYI: Some say that Zheng He discovered America over 50 years before Christopher Columbus.)
Photos from the dinner at Zheng He’s.
I left Dubai airport at 2:45am on 10th and returned to Tokyo via Kansai airport in the evening of 10th.