Down With a Summer Cold for a Week


On the 29th, I made a day trip to Karuizawa, reaching my destination, the Old-Karuizawa Golf Club at noon. Feeling somewhat tired, I declined the invitation to play a round of golf and instead chose to rest in the club-house. It was a strange situation, me sitting in the lounge watching a beautiful and inviting golf-course.

After everyone enjoyed their game of golf, they came back and attended my hour-long speaking engagement. I also met Mr Takenaka, a colleague at GRIPS, as well as his parents. I also met the former president of Tokyo University, Mr. Komiyama, besides many others.

Returning at night, I still felt the same lethargy. I slept early. The next day, a Sunday, brought with it a high fever, at times reaching 40℃. I went to my neighborhood general practitioner, my friend, for a consultation, and was given an intravenous drip and told to rest. Monday also saw a high fever hovering around the 40℃ mark. To the doctor again. Although I was sick, I did not feel sick. I cancelled all my appointments for the week. Wednesday brought a respite, and I felt a bit better.

On Thursday, I had a meeting in the morning with the representative ministers from the EU. The meeting lasted about an hour, during which I briefed them exclusively about the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster and its current situation. This is understandable, given the current situation. A few more meetings and I was done, and I reached home at 3 pm,  back to bed. I was supposed to visit the New Ise Jingu Shrine this week, but I was forced to cancel this trip.

I recuperated on Friday and Saturday; I felt much better. But all the same, it was one nasty summer cold.

On Sunday, 1st September, I took the Shiinkansen to Hiroshima in order to attend the celebrations and my invited special speech that would be accompanying the unveiling of a new hospital building at the University of Hiroshima. It’s been a while since I  met many of my friends in the medical profession. I returned the same day.

On Monday (the 2nd), I went to Shonan Village (Shonan Kokusai Mura) to attend a 3-day program, the ‘U.N University Global Seminar’. I met The rector of the University, David Malone, as well as the honorary chairman of Shiseido, Yoshiharu Fukuhara. I was to give the first keynote lecture, ‘Global Agenda, Post-Fukushima’. Most of the people attending were undergraduate as well as graduate students, with women making up more than 70% of the audience. Nice! The foreign students and faculty also helped make the atmosphere more lively. I talked animatedly, and the questions flew in from the audience. And of course, it was all in English.

I do not know how exactly to describe this open and uninhibited atmosphere; but I love it. This informal exchange of opinions and ideas.

The keynote delivered after mine was by Akiko Yuge, director of the UNDP Representation Office in Tokyo. She was very articulate, and had a response to every question. After attending the reception, I returned home, while the participants stayed on; they were lodging together.

It felt that a week had ended at last, giving way to a new week. I had plenty of rest as well.