May 19(Thursday)

Meeting with Dr. Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum

 

On May 17 (Tuesday), Dr. Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, an organization which hosts the annual Davos meetings, paid a visit to the Prime Minister's Office. I had an opportunity to talk with the Chairman during a luncheon. Chairman Schwab had invited me to the Annual Davos Meeting 2011 held in January this year, where I delivered a speech as Prime Minister of Japan. In that speech, I introduced kizuna (bonds of friendship) as a term that best captures the Japanese spirit, and the Chairman said he was deeply impressed with this word. The latest earthquake has renewed my sense of the value of kizuna among the friends and acquaintances around the world, including Chairman Schwab.

 

During the Davos Meeting in January, Chairman Schwab set up a venue for me to exchange views with world's most prominent thought leaders, including Dr. Joseph Stiglitz, 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences Laureate, Dr. Lawrence Summers, former Director of the U.S. National Economic Council, and Dr. George Soros, investment fund manager. As a leader of a country, in addition to summit meetings, I think it is important to have such a network where I can directly hear insightful opinions of world experts.

 

Chairman Schwab has now proposed to establish something like a Council of Eminent Persons as a venue to hold video teleconferences several times a year for valuable exchanges of opinions with world experts. In order not to misguide Japan in the era in which everything is globalizing, I am eager to expand the global intellectual network and make the best use of it as leader of the country.



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