Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Had another breakfast of the World Economic Forum Blueprint for Japan 2020 team. I suggested that we meet at 7am every week since I doubted most people were busy at 7am. People grumbled, but I was amazed at the turnout. We had a lively discussion. It was sort of funny sitting in the Hotel Okura Orchid Room (a famous power breakfast place for the Japanese elite) discussing radical reform in English. Yu decided to conduct all of the meetings in English because the English language is more clear than Japanese. Which is fine with me and probably helps prevent the establishment from overhearing our radical views. Or maybe it draws more attention to us... hmm... Anyway, we're obviously not going to be able to hide so I guess no use trying.



Do I see Taro Kono in that photo? If so, he's my second cousin!


I've answered my own question. It is him! When you next see Taro, please say hi to him for me :)

That's really amazing! Taro Kono and I have gotten to be quite friendly every since I was battling the against the Somusho about the National ID. Until the cabinet reshuffle, Kono-san was a seimukan of Somusho and he coordinated my relationship (or my co-option) with Somusho. He's the one who got them to agree that privacy was an important issue.

Yep, small world. I remember Taro from when he was over in the US going to Georgetown. He would stay with us on holidays. I was still in high school. I'm not familiar with all of his political positions and efforts but I'm hoping he is part of the solution, not part of the problem.

sitting here in vienna, austria and thinking of this quite nice idea of revitalizing japan by 2020 i'm wondering why there are no (or not more) women in your "blueprint for japan 2020" project. you are discussing explicitly in english to have less barriers in articulating your ideas so why don't you take a further step and try out my suggestion for a more gender balanced form of future thinking: when u meet again everyone of the male business leaders, politicans and academics bring along one women to the discussions. no matter if it is a grandmother, a daughter, a female business colleague, a female secretary, ... (respectively vice versa). give them two hours before the meeting to get the most important points and try to integrate them in your thoughts and discussions. guess what? u will get a slightly more different and differentiated view of the question on how japan in 2020 should look like and how that can be achieved ... greetings from out of the future, eva.

Eva, I agree absolutely. Yu Serizawa who is coordinating the whole thing (and actually talks the most at the sessions. ;-) ) is a woman, but we have very few women on the team and have been trying desperately to invite and include more women. Yoshiko Sakurai, a journalist is a member and quite outspoken. We are trying to invite more and we talked about it at the meeting... I guess we could invite "regular women" to the meeting, but I think the criteria for participating in a World Economic Forum event is some sort of "influence" in society. It is debatable whether these "influencial" people know any more than "regular" people, but WEF is currently the sponsor of this program.

Actually, I think that working with some of the activist groups that include more women and empowering them may be easier to get their voices heard than including them in this rather "high brow" debate... Not sure.

For the record, I come from a family of feminists who have been trying to empower Japanese women for 3 generations. My great grandmother built one of the first women's trade schools, my grandmother built one of the first nurse schools and day care centers in our prefecture up North and my mother was the few women CEO's in Japan... My sister is smarter than me in our family tradition.

Mimi, any thoughts?

One more thought... Diversity is our keyword and trying to integrate a more diverse set of voices does make a lot of sense. I'll propose your idea at the next meeting Eva.

There's one woman in the picture above -- who is she?

That's Yu Serizawa. She works for the World Economic Forum. She's pretty amazing. She speaks just about every language and keeps things rolling.

I am trying to find out more about Yu Serizawa's background, her title, company, education. Nothing has shown up on Google except for this site.
Any additional information would be most appreciated before Monday 28 Feb. I am writing up on some well known independent Japanese women and I'd like to include her profile.

Thanks and regards

I sure hope Taro Kono becomes the next Japanese Prime Minister. He seems trustworthy and highly ambitious!
He really needs our support most of all! Because so far the bad oyaji's have the most power lately and their attitudes are worrisome.
It is time we have a real leader!