‘Science, Technologies and Innovation for Development’ of the World Bank and Japan; A Chance for Win-win Collaboration But….


On April 16th, I left Kyoto ‘ISN Nexus’ early in the morning to join the 10am meeting on ‘Science, Technologies and Innovation for Development’ with Mr. Al Watkins and his colleagues of the World Bank at the World Bank Tokyo Office.

I have been involved in this World Bank project since January 2008 which connected us to other ‘places’ such as  TICAD4 in Yokohama,  Toyako G8 Summit, and G8 Science Advisors’ Conferences (Ref.1,2),  moving us forward to ‘vertical and horizontal’ domains..

I have been to Washington DC to give speeches at the World Bank twice since January 2008 (April, 2009 (Ref.1)  andDecember 2009) and participated also in the discussions and workshops.

Details of these 3 meetings can be seen also at the web site ‘Science, Technology, and Innovation’ of the World Bank.

January, 2008 (Presentation)

April, 2009 (Meeting)

December, 2009 (Forum)

As you can see, the web site of the World Bank is getting better also.

In the meanwhile, Japanese science and technology policies are developing nicely, too.  ‘Building bridge of Japan-Africa’ under the ‘Science and Technology Diplomacy’ policy is one example of such efforts.  I think this is very good since the world is changing fast, too.

Bilateral supports (ODA) and supports through multi-national organizations such as the World Bank face a big challenge in adjustments and collaboration – how they adjust and cooperate with each other.

One of the goals of this year’s meeting was to find ways to match the policies of the World Bank and the government of Japan through such process.   I think our meeting was quite worthwhile, but challenging, and Mr. Iwase, Vice-Minister for Policy Coordination (he also participated in the World Bank Forum last December), Mr. Goto of JICA, and many delegates from ministries in charge were present.  You might be interested to know that the ODA policies of Japan are being highly evaluated by the World Bank.  It is truly something very wonderful.  I think we should let people in Japan as well as the world know more about goods things Japanese government does..

It is a well known fact, on the other hand, that Japanese staffs in World Bank are too few in comparison to the proportion of funds Japan contributes to the World Bank.  However, I heard that about 400 Japanese people applied recently to the 4 or 5 posts offered for Japan.  It is a good trend.  I would like to see more Japanese people participating actively not only in such opportunities but in general; at ‘outside’ of Japanese establishments and at various ‘International Organizations’.  It is not only for their own careers’ sake for many Japanese, but also for the sake of the future of Japan.

This world is huge and broad.  Countless opportunities and future friends and partners are waiting for you to work together.