Day six in Japan

Japanese Drum.JPG“Party” yesterday was like any standard formal function: Speeches, then speeches then more speeches. They seem determined to starved you before they allowed you to eat.

The highlight of the party is (no! not the speeches) the traditional Japanese drum performance by the kids in Zao. The last time I saw drum performance was in Kyushu, which was much bigger then what we have here. But still, it is an interesting performance regardless.I have a long breakfast with a Satoshi Izumi. Despite the Japanese name, Izumi is actually a Chinese who migrated to Japan 20 years ago. We have some very interesting chats about doing business in China which reminded me some of the things I wanted to do before…Maybe if IDA doesn’t renew my contract, I will do so.

Then attended the closing of ACT where the chairs of different group gave a summary of their group. Some of them are pretty interesting! The Energy group talked about the danger of Nuclear profileration and the need to seek alternative renewal energy source. The Security group talked about the stability in the North Korea region and the need for US to respect N.Korea (yep!).

After that, I had a long lunch with a group of folks from MII policy and regulation. Our discussions carried from China telecommunication reforms, to regulation difficulties in the rapid changes in Infocomm technologies. Nice to get some insight into how MII actually works in the telecom policies.

We then headed back to Tokyo, a long ride which I slept most of the way. And luckily I did, considering my dinner with Katsuya Makiuchi, Director in Ministry of Economy and Trade and Industry. I don’t really know Makiuchi-san well… Just exchanged some emails before but he is kind enough to invite me to dinner. He also brought two other friends, Ms. Naoko Kinoshita (Assistant Director in National Police Agency) who used to work for him, and Mr. Takehisa Okabe, (Director General of New Media Development Association) whom he used to work for.

I was kind of surprised…cos I am kind of lost what he wants. But it turned out to be a social drinking and eating session (well kind of). In fact, it turned out we have crossed path before. Makiuchi-san actually attended a presentation I did in Shanghai last year.

Special note to Okabe-san who is an interesting man. He actually works in Singapore for 3 years back in the 1960s and apparently have a huge contribution to the Singapore computerization programmes. EDB, through him, got help from the Japanese to kick start our computer professional education program. In fact, his name is recorded in the book published by EDB called “Heart Work”.

So, with the standard beer, beer, sake, sake, beer, sake, sake, beer, beer and repeat as typical of Japanese dinner, I was lucky to find my way back to my hotel…

Reminder to self: The incredible Japanese show about VHS vs BetaMax (JVC vs Sony) is called Hi wa mata noboru. I highly recommed to anyone who dont believe in Standards to watch this.

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