Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Hmm... No plane yet. Weather getting worse...

"The plane has been rerouted to Kansai International Airport due to the weather, we will announce the new arrival time..."

This sucks. Maruchan just double booked me on the 5:25 ANA flight, but I bet that's at risk. I better get hustling to figure out what to do instead of sitting here blogging...

The biggest hurricane since WWII is about to hit Tokyo. It was supposed to hit this evening, but it is speeding up. My flight on Air China is delayed. I'm sitting in a sushi shop in Terminal 2 (my non-favorite sushi shop terminal) drinking a beer munching on some hokkigai. Anyway, I just wanted to blog in because when I checked into Air China, they asked me if I wanted a smoking seat. (Apologies to those who hate smoking or already know there are smoking seats on Air China.) I thought they had banned all international smoking flights! So... To be a bad boy... I just bought some cigarettes just so that I can smoke on the flight and see what it's like. I hope I don't sit next to a chain smoker who makes me PAY for this little experimental experience. The other funny thing is... I probably wouldn't have bought the cigarettes if I hadn't thought it MIGHT make blog material. Hmm... Blogging causes cancer?

I just got my photo CD of the pictures I took on Menorca with my Hasselblad. This is the first time I had my 6X6's scanned. They turned out nice. I posted them on imagestation and Yahoo Photos. The pictures are nice though so please take a look if you have time. I'll add captions when I get back from China I think.

I was a bit suprised when I read the morning paper and found that Koji Omi was replaced by Hiroyuki Hosoda as minister for Okinawa, Northern Territories and science and technology policy. I had been working closely with Mr. Omi on high tech ventures. I hope Hosoda-san turns out to be good. I don't know him personally. The head of science and technology policy is quite important in my view.

Mr. Katayama, the minister of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications who I had been battling with on the National ID issue suprised me and retained his position. They say it is because Koizumi-san is counting on him to push forward the postal reforms. Actually, Koizumi-san said he was in favor of the National ID so they probably agree on that. I wonder who is giving him that bad advice. Well, now I'm stuck working with the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications on trying to get them to think more about privacy so I will have to figure out how to communicate with Mr. Katayama I guess.

Finance czar gets shove in Cabinet reshuffle

Heizo Takenaka, who was reappointed as minister for economic and fiscal policy, emerged victorious in his bitter power struggle with Yanagisawa after he was ordered to double as financial services minister to replace Yanagisawa.

I think Takenaka-san is a good guy and quite smart. I get along with him quite well. Having said that, I think that people have criticized him for being a bit academic and macroeconomic oriented. He is being put into position to dump government money into banks which I think is generally a bad idea. On the other hand, I'm not a macroeconomist so what do I know...

I was invited by Idei-san the Chairman of Sony to be on his panel the day after tomorrow in Beijing. It is one of two panel discussions that are part of an event commemorating the 30th anniversary of relations between Japan and China. The town-hall style panel will be held in a TV studio and broadcast nationwide in China. Idei-san is the moderator and there will be 3 Japanese and 3 Chinese. I'm going to talk about how Japan is still competitive in consumer electronics, but China will probably take over manufacturing. I think that Japan can add value in branding and marketing devices, but might need the help of Silicon Valley to build the architecture and the software to connect the services with the devices. After the panel, there will be a big reception and a performance of Madam Butterfly conducted by Seiji Ozawa. Mizuka went with Yanai-san and Makiko-san the day before yesterday to Beijing. Yanai-san is head of the PR committee of the event. Idei-san is the Chair of the entire event. I'm leaving tomorrow morning so I don't know if I will be able to blog from Beijing. (Maybe they've banned my site. ;-p ) If not, I'll be offline until Thursday.