After travelling approximately 24 hours from Abu Dhabi via London, I arrived in Los Angeles at 3 P.M. on March 20. I went directly to the hotel, rested a while, had a look around and had dinner.
The next day, I met with some exchange students studying at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs at the hotel. Afterwards, I went to UCLA to have a meeting with Vice-Provost for International Studies Cindy Fan and others for various appointments. In the evening, I attended the GOLD reception, which I also attended last year in Tokyo.
On the 22nd, I had a meeting with UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, and gave a lecture titled ‘Global Agenda in Post Fukushima’ in a small hall in the Royce Hall. The hall was filled up to its maximum of around 120 people. One of my mentors during my time in the U.S., Professor Charles Kleeman (in Japanese) was kind enough to come to the lecture with his wife.
Afterwards, I returned to the GOLD Conference to give my speech. On this day, Mr. Nakamura, the founder of Kopernik, gave the Opening Keynote speech, and I gave the Closing Keynote speech, similar to the format last year. Last year Mrs. Susan Roos, wife of Ambassador Roos of the U.S. was a great partner and gave the Closing Keynote speech.
In the evening, I dined with UCLA Chancellor Block and others at Scarpetta, a restaurant in the Montage Hotel, one of the premier hotels in Beverly Hills. Also attending were Ms. Irene Hirano, wife of former U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye who passed away recently, UN Ambassador Nishida, President Sakurai of the Japan Society, and Mr. Ralph Shapiro, who are all supporters of the UCLA Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies. I am also one of the members, but was absent from the twentieth anniversary event last year because I was in the middle of my duties for the National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC).
The next day was also a conference at the Montage Hotel. Afterwards, there was a reception in the top floor penthouse of Professor Paul Terasaki. Dr. Terasaki has made enormous contributions in the fields of human organ transplant histocompatibility and transplant outcomes. As I am a nephrologist, I have treated patients who have received organ transplants, and he was one of my friends during my time at UCLA. After achieving great success through the histocompatibility research, he gave a generous donation to UCLA, established the Japan Study Research Center, and is living a good retirement life. It is enviable.
As always, the sky was a bright, clear blue, and it felt nostalgic to be back in Los Angeles. I visited the Getty Museum and prepared for my trip home the next day.
It was a busy but relaxing four days.