Geneve; Todai President Council at the WEF Head Quarter -1


The President Council of Todai is held in early June annually.  This year’s meeting, by the invitation of Professor Klaus Schwab, our member and also the Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF, popular as the Davos Meeting), was set at the WEF Head Quarter (HQ) in Geneva.  By the way, last year’s meeting was held in New York City.

As I landed in Geneva via Paris, I found the weather cold and rainy.  After a short break, I headed to Cologny, one of the most prestigious area in Geneva where the WEF HQ is located, and as I gazed at the mountains across the lake, behind the UN and other buildings, I noticed them covered with new snow.  I was told that the weather was very hot only last week, like 30℃/86?.  It was a pity.

I enjoyed reunions with many friends working at the WEF HQ, having lunch together, talking about the agenda.  So many young people from various backgrounds, various nationalities are working here.  There were several Japanese, too.  Most of them, including the Japanese, are here temporarily for some years, as a part of their career paths, but the work presents them opportunities to get in touch with the leaders of the world, making friends, and expanding networks.

The next day was a national holiday here, and most of the places were closed.  However, the reception at the WEF HQ from the evening was full and cheerful with the presence of President Hamada of Todai, the Council members, and OB/OG of Todai working in Geneva and its adjacent areas.  There I met Dr Suwa, introduced several years ago by Dr. Ito.  He is a graduate of Todai, Department of Science, earned Master’s degree at Duke University, PhD at Princeton University, and taught in Rwanda for about 3 years.  Dr Suwa is currently working at the World Meteorological Organization and hopes to return to Rwanda to teach after his term at WMO is over.  I introduced him to President Hamada right away.  I also had the pleasure of greeting HE Suganuma, the Ambassador of Japan to Swiss.  Here in Geneva, many are related to governmental organizations, so I had opportunities to meet many friends (though most of them were much younger than I….)

In the evening, I had dinner with the Council members at the Hotel.  Professor Kobayashi  (Ref.1) the head of Japan team at CERN was of course invited, too.  I was seated next to Mr Bill Emmott and we talked mostly over Fukushima.  I think many of you know him.  He was the head of Tokyo office and then editor of the Economist, and authored many books on Japan (please search at Amazon).  I understand that he is recently writing on Italy.

There were lots of topics to talk about; Japan after 3.11, how journalisms or scientists should be, businesses, politices….. I felt that concerns and attentions to Japan are high after 3.11.

Mr. Emmott told me that he plans to visit Tokyo in June.