As always, the flight was Air France departing from Narita at 21:55 arriving in Paris at 4:30. It was at this Charles de Gaulle airport lounge at about 5:30 am that I listened to the historical victory speech of Barack Obama on television as he was elected the next president.
Although the topic I am raising today may not be so popular, it is an very important theme among today’s many social and health related issues. I came here this time to give a keynote lecture at the annual meeting of nations and organizations supporting IPPF, a global NGO on family planning (Ministry of Foreign Affairs participated from Japan). It is a great responsibility, considering that we are now in the midst of such economical crisis. I worked on the draft of the speech till midnight, and read it. I did this because I wanted to hand the manuscript of the speech. Administrative works of Japan was done by JOICEF headed by Ms. Sumie Ishii, Secretary General of JOICEF (who represented NGO at last year’s Toyako Summit and has done a remarkable job). Thanks to her. My lecture seems to have been well received, to my relief.
Right after arriving at London in the morning of the day before, the first thing I did was to have an interview with Dr. John Baddingotn, Scientific Advisor to Prime Minister Brown. Then visited WHO Commission Chair Sir Michael Marmot at his office where I left for lunch at the official residence of Minister Nishigahiro with Minister Nishigahiro, Minister Oka in charge of economic affairs, vice president of Royal Society, and Dr.Lorna Castleton in charge of international affairs. As there were so many topics to talk about, time passed before I knew.
At night, was invited to a dinner with the executives of IPPF and speakers at a restaurant right beside the London Tower.
After giving lecture at IPPF, headed for Heathrow Airport in the afternoon to depart for Davos. Arrival at the hotel was at about 10pm. There seemed to be more snow here this year comparing to last two years.