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This morning, I joined the panel on US Japan bilateral relationship (I believe) for the group of UVA McIintire school student group.  The reason I went to the event at Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan is to meet with the journalist who sent me the inquiry about interview on status of women in Japan. I receive inquiries for interview etc. whenever some events involving Japan and the world become hot topic.  Recently, the Carlos Ghosn and Nissan has been one of them and this time, the President Trump’s visit to Japan are some examples.  When I receive the inquiries, I accept when the topic is related to my expertise and I have something to say. But I decline when I have few facts an the topic is evolving, etc.

I received an inquiry which seems to be related to Nissan, a while ago, and I did not reply.  I finally decided to reply, only to find that the topic of interest to the journalist now was status of women.  As we exchanged notes, he found out that we share UVA experience.  He told me that he will moderate the panel for the group of McIntire school students who are on the Global Immersion Experience Program this morning and we can talk before or after the panel.  I decided to come, as I am also looking for journalists for my SINCA session on trade etc. (very selfish reasons).

We talked for a while before the panel, but one of the journalists did not show up and I ended up serving as one of the panelists. (It was informal, casual discussion)  I touched upon my background etc. as nobody knew who I was other than I am Darden graduate. I even introduced our SINCA session this Friday to the students. It would be great if some could come, as it will be an interesting opportunity to meet w Japanese people interested in start-up etc. over drinks and food & networking.

As always from the non-Japanese audience, there were many questions and all we had to do was to respond, make comments on other panelists remarks etc.  Though defense/bilateral trade is NOT my area of expertise,  I tried to introduce some Japanese (rather my personal) perspectives as other panelists were all non-Japanese.  I enjoyed the interaction and appreciate the opportunity for free-flow discussion.  I learned something related to defense/trade/immigration, as well as some about McIntire school.

 I also found the contrast with the session yesterday at ASF was quite interesting.  As in other cases, the one at ASF entitled “global talent” etc. was more structured with questions, decided in advance.  Fewer questions were raised from the floor.  I hope many people (particularly young -at heart included-Japanese ) would take advantage of  this type of opportunity to share views and think and express on the spot. I sometimes find it takes a while for people to ask questions and/or volunteer to report take aways.


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