So I arrived in Gabarone (GBE), Botswana (hot) and things didn’t start off very well since my baggage didn’t make it. Anyway, I’m on a quasi-government mission to see how Japan and work with the Botswanan government to help improve its economy through science & technology (S&T) policy recommendations. I am going on this trip with Dr. Kiyoshi Kurokawa and Mr. Yukio Tada of Sojitz.
The trip started from Narita via Hong Kong and Johannesburg. After almost exatly, 24-hours of flight, losing your baggage is not the first thing you want to experience. However, interersting, I wasn’t as peeved as I would have been normally. First, after many trips to many countries (close to 60 at this point), it was actually my first trip South of the equator. Second, since I was going to Africa, I set my expectations somewhat low and actually assumed my bags wouldn’t make it after two transfers. Luckily, they found my bags and I got them later that afternoon.
Pictures from this trip can be found here.
Special Advisor at Cabinet Office (Govt. of Japan)
Named by Nikkei as one of the “100 Most Influential People for Japan,” Saito began software programming in elementary school and started his own company while still in high school and was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998 (by Ernst & Young, NASDAQ and USA Today). As one of the world’s leading authorities on cybersecurity.
After selling his business to Microsoft, he moved to Tokyo in 2005 and founded InTecur, a venture capital firm. In 2011, he served as the Chief Technology Officer of the National Diet’s (Parliament) Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission. Later that year, he was named as both a Young Global Leader and Global Agenda Council member for World Economic Forum (WEF) and subsequently been named to its Foundation Board. In 2012, Saito was appointed to a council on national strategy and policy that reported directly to the Prime Minister of Japan.
Saito also advises several national governments around the globe. In Japan, he has served as an advisor to Japanese ministries; the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science; the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST); the Information Technology Promotion Agency (IPAS); the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, among others. He is currently the Special Advisor to the Ministry of Economic Trade and Industry (METI) and the Cabinet Office for the Government of Japan.
He went to medical school at UCLA and Harvard Kennedy School; serves on various boards of Global 2000 companies; frequently appears as a commentator on TV and is the author of seven books in addition to writing several weekly newspaper columns. His management book, The Team: Solving the Biggest Problem in Japan, was published by Nikkei BP and became a best-seller in 2012. In 2016, Saito received the Medal of Honor from the Government of Japan for his work in the field of education.