I wish I could say that this time, I was here to see the America’s Cup, but it is not so. The reason for my visit was to attend Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia’s GSCIA (1, 2) at the Fairmont Hotel. I was able to see many people in and around the hotel from the America’s Cup and people involved in Oracle.
The first and second days were the last round of the America’s Cup, in which the champion would be decided. The race was the Emirates Team New Zealand vs. the Defending Champion Oracle Team USA, with the score being 8:5, and the challenger being one race away from winning. The rooms at the Fairmont Hotel were priced steeply and there were very few vacancies.
The first day was the reception and the morning of the second day were three panels on the High Level Forum Green Future, of which I was on the first panel. All three were very interesting.
At lunch, Prime Minister Najib gave a speech and there were four MOU ceremonies. I participated in the signing of Japan’s cooperation. This was because the Prime Minister’s chief scientific advisor is my old friend, Mr. Zakri. Future relations should involve not only governments but also the private sector, with multiple levels of cooperation among many people.
At night, there was a banquet with people of the local businesses, as well as a speech by the Prime Minister and interviews. As this was an official public banquet, wine and other alcohols were not served and I felt a bit wistful but there is no use being remorseful.
Especially for people like myself who are in the academic world, the trust that is developed between us is free from special interests and forms a basis that is different from the relationships formed between governments and companies. This allows the advantage that new projects can be started on such occasions.
Oracle won the America’s Cup, but I had to return to Japan before the final results.
On the day after I departed for Japan, Oracle Team USA did not back down and there was a major reversal in the outcome.