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 I was invited to the dinner at the Embassy of the Netherlands on Monday, November 8.  I am scheduled to give a key note speech at the Innovation Lecture held at the Hague in early December.  The dinner last night was for the group of government officials visiting Japan under the Atlantic & Pacific Exchange Program and the dinner was hosted by the Ambassador.

  I was asked to give a short talk right before dinner.  I talked briefly about the recent business performance,  and the  trend that many manufacturing companies have been moving out of Japan due to the high corporate tax and strong yen, etc. I also discussed the positive aspect of the strong yen such as the push to the Japanese companies to think of the network of value chain activities on the global basis and the potential for the young Japanese to work outside of Japan. 

  I also discussed the unique strategies of the three companies which won the Porter Prize this year. (I was visiting the companies earlier who applied for the prize.)  

  I learned a lot about the interest in the Netherlands while we talked over dinner such as innovation, funding for science and technology etc.  I felt very fortunate to have been given such an opportunity to find out more about the country and the interest (particularly so before I prepare my key note speech in December!)  

  It was a very pleasant and lovely evening.  Despite the fact that I started the day rather ealy at 5:00 a.m. and had a series of company visits, it was a nice way to end the day.

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