Tokyo Governor Ishihara in Fine Form at ACCJ Talk
Daniel Dolan (Director, Global Communication Strategy, Weber Shandwick, Japan)
Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara spoke Thursday, June 6 at a lunch sponsored by the American Chamber of Commerce. The talk, held at the Hilton Hotel in Shinjuku, was heavily attended and politely received, despite several unsurprisingly controversial remarks. Governor Ishihara spoke in Japanese and used an interpreter, seemed to have no speaking notes, and mostly told a series of stories peppered with references to Japan's strengths and weaknesses.
Some of his main points were as follows:
- Japan has excellent technologies but is not putting them to good use. Instead, these technologies end up in Singapore and other places, creating advances in quality of life. Japan needs to use its native technologies much better.
- Japan did make a very valuable contribution of its technologies to the Gulf war. In contrast, the British only volunteered soldiers, many of who died. Japan's contributions were far more valuable.
[Note: this comment likely will be found in newspapers, perhaps in an editorial by a British embassy official…]
- China needs to stop cheating on its WTO commitments (intellectual property piracy, etc).
- China probably will be split into seven or so separate countries within the next 15 years. This will be much better for the country.
- America will fight a war by the end of this year, with probable healthy effects on the economies of the US and Japan.
- Tokyo has two big problems: traffic jams and crows. Perhaps we can eat the crows in pies. For traffic jams we need to complete road projects.
- Yes, I am a nationalist, but most great leaders were nationalists.