I did a lecture at the World Bank in January 2008 (Ref. 1, 2 ) and right after that we co-organized a Global Health Summit in Tokyo in February 2008. I believe that these activities were very helpful in building strong mutual trust and understanding. During my visit to Washington DC, from the morning of April 30, schedule was arranged for me to discuss about science and technology policy with special focus on African development for 4 hours.
In Japan, through 2008 TICAD4 (Ref. 1, 2 ) and meetings related to G8 Summit, policies are made to reinforce African development and eventually develop "Science and Technology diplomacy" (I have been advocating this for many years・・・) the movement which is prominent also in academies of Japan, U.S., and other countries where they are together working to build a system of mutual cooperation
What role is the Science and Technology policy of the World Bank capable to play to address the global issues of today's drastically changing world is a great challenge. It was a good opportunity to advertise Japan's policies since Japanese delegates had just returned from their tour on Science and Technology in Africa and their findings were reported at a conference in Tokyo recently. JBIC (Japan Bank for International Cooperation) and JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) also participated from Japan and contributed to making the discussion lively. It was well received.
Photo1: At the World Bank with Secretary Ueda of the Embassy of Japan.
Below are some of the scenes from the Science, Technology and Innovation Capacity Building Partnership Meeting at the World Bank .
Expectations of the world is high for Japan and indeed Japan is capable in making large contributions in many different ways but it seems to me that current domestic climate is somewhat sadly introverted. For current crisis, it is crucial for the political leaders to catch this opportunity of "once in 100 years" disaster to show national vision that shows strong determination to change reluctant Japan to meet today's global needs. If not, the cool-headed world would treat Japan accordingly; as a nation not-worth-taking-seriously, and no international negotiations or top diplomacy would make meaningful differences whatsoever (by Funabashi, Editor in Chief). How much are we, although still economically the 2nd largest, communicating to the world our will, determination, and policies and how seriously does the world take them? I regret to say that "Japan Missing" is the world's feeling towards our nation.