CSIS-HGPI Conference at Fukushima


CSIS is a famous Think Tank located in Washington D.C. which is well known among Japanese.  Our Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) has worked with CSIS on a number of joint projects beginning last year as I have previously talked about on this site. 

In the early days of this year, HGPI together with CSIS engaged in various activities including meetings with members of the Japanese Diet and some of the results of these activities were presented to the public in a report. 

In particular, CSIS rapidly responded in the wake of 3.11 by coming up with proposals for the rebuilding of Japan and they are also working together HGPI in the fields of health and medical care.  This site has reported (Ref.1) on these activities.

A gathering was held to announce this “Partnership for Recovery and a Stronger Future: Standing with Japan after 3-11” on November 3rd, 2011 in Washington D.C. followed by a similar gathering in Tokyo during the week of November 7th.  This report can be accessed via the web as well. 

A gathering was held in Fukushima on Friday, November 11th to report primarily on the joint activities with HGPI. (Please click here for the programs) The meeting was extremely productive with approximately 70 attendees, and I am extremely grateful to those who participated on a day when Fukushima was in a light drizzle.  

Among the participants were Michael Green, Stephen Morrison and Brian Biles from CSIS. While Seiji Maehara, Chairman of the Policy Research Committee, of the Democratic Party of Japan had to cancel at the last minute due to matters related to the Transpacific Strategic Economic Partnership, participants from the Japanese side included Mitsuru Sakurai (in Japanese), Acting Chairman of the Policy Research Committee of the Democratic Party of Japan (he is a former Senior Vice Minister of Finance and physician from Tohoku University), Masao Uchibori (in Japanese), Vice-Governor of the Fukushima Prefectural Government, Kazuhiko Toyama who owns transportation-related companies in Fukushima and Ichiro Tsuji (in Japanese) of Tohoku University. 

Dr. Seigo Izumo (in Japanese) who participated in this event resides in Boston, but he jumped in from an early juncture with radiation measurements and medical treatment policies.  Dr. Izumo is a Japanese doctor who was behind me in school.  After graduation from medical school, he went overseas and embarked on an illustrious career as a professor of internal medicine at Harvard with a specialization in cardiac medicine.  He is now working more on the business side and is engaged in work that allows him a more flexible schedule. 

The medical care related themes are focused around the three pillars of radiation, coping with psychological issues and reforming how medical care is provided, and a goal is to create an “Open Platform” that facilitates cooperation between the United States and Japan.  

When we returned to Tokyo, six of us, Michael Green, Stephen Morrison, Brian Biles, Seigo Izumo, Yoshiji Makino (in Japanese) (a freelance journalist who is known for his opinion pieces) and myself gathered for dinner.  Everyone was greatly pleased with the conference and we discussed what should be the next steps.  It was, all in all, an extremely fulfilling day. 

As a final bit of food for thought, Dr. Izumo carried a Geiger counter while we were walking about and actually recorded readings of over 10 uSv/hs!