Day four in Japan

Takenaka.PNGThis is the first day of the ACT Seminar and we have a set of impressives keynotes speakers. Fukushiro Nukaga, Chairman of the Policy Research Council and a member of House of Representives, Heizo Takenaka, Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy, and Syamsul Mu’arif, Minister for COmmunication and Information (Indonesia).

I am most impressed with Takenaka-san. Unlike the rest, he come with no prepared speech, no notes and no slides. Basically, he just walk up to the stage and just started talking (and the only keynote in English incidently). He gave a very upbeated picture of Japan economy moving forward citing figures like non-performaning loans and budget deficits figures and how it has changes over these few months. Obviously, he really believe in his policies, which use words like “deposing bad debts”, “eliminate unsubstainable budget deficits” and “deregulation” and “FTA”.And he handled all the tough questions really well. Particularly, a question
asked why he thinks the media is bashing him so badly and he gave a candid answer: “They are immature”. Before you jump on this, he went on to give an explaination which summarized “the media industry is not fully developed”.

Too bad I can’t vote in Japan. He has at least win my vote.

James-Zumwalt.PNGThen, I have a casual lunch with James Zumwalt, Economic Counselor for US Embassy. While it started out quite innocent, we have several interesting discussions on Takenaka’s policy, FTAs with Singapore, US positions among other things. It is just a casual talk anyway since I am not expert in this.

After lunch, we have another series of speakers (including James who gave a US Embassy perspective on Japan-US relationship). Of which, the one which catch my attention is a presentation by Naohiro Ishida, Director General of MPHPT. He has a lot of slides and too little time. But those slides are gems containing so much information about e-Japan strategy II. (We all know about strategy I and MPHPT has already delcare a success) I need to study this in greater detail later when I have the time.

In a while, we will have a dinner party hosted by Keiichi Makuta, President of
Tohoku Electric Power.

ps: Don’t think this is a place to SD anyone :-)

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