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Today, October 8, I had an opportunity to meet with the members of the European Cluster Policy Group who came to Japan this last Sunday. My past involvement of cluster research committee and other cluster initiatives in Japan and of Microeconomics of Competitiveness course originally designed by Professor Michael E. Porter at Harvard Business School has led me to this opportunity.
I had a very interesting and stimulating discussion with the members over lunch and at the Europa House. The Group was interested in finding out the status of clusters in Japan, and explore ideas for mechanisms and policies for supporting international cluster cooperation for innovation. As I share those interests, I found the discussion intellectually stimulating and sometimes quite challenging.
As always, I gave my own view related to the status of cluster policies and innovation in general, and tried to respond to the questions they have accumulated over the past several days. They had many as they had met with various government officials and others and visited Hamamatsu cluster.
Their questions have also made me reflect and think about new ideas for collaboration and cooperation. I got many insights from our discussion.
Three hours (including the discussion over lunch) went by very quickly as we had so much to talk about. I am very fortunate to be given this opportunity. It is always nice to meet with people with shared interest and willingness to discuss various issues openly.

These past three days since I came back from New York City have been very exciting for me, starting with the Executive Ed conducted in English, Strategic Shift Seminar in Japanese and this stimulating discussion on clusters. They are all related and have given me a lot of ideas to think over.

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