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 On Friday, September 4, Japan Meeting was held at Roppongi Academy Hills, with Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum and Yukio Hatoyama, next Prime Minister of Japan. The occasion was to commemorate the opening of Tokyo office of the World Economic Forum.
 The title of the Japan Meeting was “Japan’s Role in the Global Agenda” and the meeting included several interactive round table brainstorming sessions, welcome reception and private sessions.
 The main program was the Plenary Session over lunch with Mr. Hatoyama who gave speech (which I heard was reported on news on all the stations that evening.) The timing was perfect as the general election just ended and the Democratic Party of Japan just took over.
 Mr. Hatoyama’s speech was quite comprehensive and addressed several issues. The speech was followed by the panel of distinguished members including Heizo Takenaka (Director, Global Security Research Institute of Keio University), Sadako Ogata(President, Japan International Cooperation Agency), Kiyoshi Kurokawa(Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies), Yoriko Kawaguchi(House of Councillors) and Yasuchika Hasegawa (President of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.) moderated by Hirotaka Takeuchi(Dean, ICS, Hitotsubashi University).
  In addition, there were round table brainstorming sessions entitled “Economy: Asia’s Role in the Global Economy”, “Social Entrepreneurs: The Role of Social Alliance and Innovation” and “Role of Japan’s business in supporting Japan in the next decade.” The day ended with the welcome reception hosted by Young Global Leaders (Table for Two Initiatives.)
The sessions were quite interactive, probably because there were many urgent issues on the table, and were done in Japanese (with some English and simultaneous translation.)
 I personally found the discussion quite interesting and topical, though some issues such as the need to develop “global leaders” seemed to be long overdue. Partially due to the time constraints, not enough details were discussed, though it seems that the key for implementing reform stays with the details. Overall, the sessions were free flow and quite heated, unlike other dull discussions which are often typical of the meetings.

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