Meeting the Prime Ministers of Malaysia and Norway in two Consecutive Days


The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mohd Najib Abdul Razak(1) set up a ‘Global Advisory Board of Science and Innovation’ and I was also invited as a committee member.

This time the event took place in Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru from 1st to 3rd of November. I departed Narita in the morning of October 31st. From Kuala Lumpur Airport it took roughly an hour and a half to arrive to the hotel, and in the evening I attended the reception.

On the following day, November 1st, I had a conference at the Prime Minister’s official residence in Kuala Lumpur. Other than the Prime Minister, several cabinet ministers had attended, and updates were given on issues including food security, nutrition and environment. We exchanged various ideas and engaged in debates concerning reflection on policy, and instructions were given based on the discussion. Part of the conference focused especially on the site visit to ‘Iskandar; Malaysia Smart City Framework’ centralizing in Johor Bahr. Unfortunately I had to excuse myself from the site visit on the second and third day, and after day1, I left Kuala Lumpur and got back to Narita on the 2nd, early in the morning.

After returning home and taking a short break, I met Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg(1) at noon, and we had a meal together. I was the only representative from Japan and we exchanged opinions concerning various risks and government responses based on our reports, which included the National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission's (NAIIC) report on Fukushima nuclear power plants and the report by Norway’s independent committee on the mass shooting in Norway from last summer.

NAIIC’s report on Fukushima’s nuclear power plants seems to be widely read in  the world and I am delighted that there are many people who are interested in exchanging opinions on this matter, including those who hold important posts in the government.

Prime Minister Stoltenberg also made suggestions regarding exchange of opinions on ‘Global Health.’ In this particular field, Norway is known for showing great interest in global health and support for organizations such as GAVI(1) and the Prime Minister is also very keen on promoting such program. We spoke that HGPI which I am part of, recently organized a conference in collaboration with GAVI, and the mechanisms of financing global health programs as I previously discussed in early September at the Kavli Science Forum in Oslo. There, the Prime Minister emphasized the mission of Norway.

Time went by very quickly and afterwards we had interviews from Norway’s TV station and Kyodo news.

In the evening I was invited to the reception of Prime Minister Stoltenberg. Reconstruction Minister Hirano also attended the event, together with number of parties concerned and we all enjoyed seafood dishes such as salmon of Norway.

Meeting two different Prime Ministers in two consecutive days was an experience I could not have imagined.