Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you very much Mori-san for organizing this luncheon in my honor. I also thank all the representatives of the Japanese ICT Industry who took the time to come and meet with me on this occasion. As I had expected, the ITU Association of Japan is growing stronger and stronger year after year. This is evident here today.
At this moment, please allow me to propose a moment of silence in honor of the memory all those who lost their lives during the 11 March 2011 earthquake and Tsunami. May their souls rest in peace!
Before going further, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the Government and People of Japan for your resilience. You have made great progress in re-building not only the country but also the Japanese industry including our ICT Sector.
Of course, this does not come as a surprise. History books talk about the “spectacular growth” after the Meiji Restoration when Japan became the first non-European Power, and about Japan’s recovery from the Second World War devastation to become the world's second largest economy. You have therefore demonstrated your ability to rise to challenges of varying magnitudes.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Whenever I get an opportunity, I tell the least developed countries, small island states and the rest of the developing countries to continue to work closely with the Japanese industry and benefit from new and innovative ideas and products.
I acknowledge the work of the ITU Association of Japan. For the past four decades, the Association has worked very hard to ensure the coordination of Japanese and international activities in telecommunication and broadcasting sectors. ITU-R, ITU-T, and ITU-D Study Groups are benefiting a lot from the Japanese industry participation and contributions. I would like to re-assure you of our commitment to work with you. Let me wish you more success in the future.
In this juncture, allow me to recognize the great work done by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication of Japan and I feel honored by the presence of Yokota san, the Director General of International Affairs, whose great work and leadership is well recognized and well appreciated by ITU and its membership.
Let me share this with you today. Since I was a young man, I met hundreds of people across the world that benefitted from Japanese assistance through the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Countries and companies, and individuals have benefitted from Japan goodwill and generosity including in the telecom/ICT sector.
Recently, I noted with great interest that JICA’s new vision focuses on two pillars: "Inclusive development” and “Dynamic development.” This is a great focus that could continue to bring the world together while empowering people and alleviating poverty through economic growth. ICT is a fantastic tool for these two pillars let us make sure that ICT plays its catalytic role in supporting these pillars.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The ITU Development Sector has benefitted a lot from Japan’s leadership through Mr. Yasuhiko Kawasumi who has diligently led our work on Rural Communication. I know that the other sectors have equally benefitted from your inputs. Please keep up the good work.
On the development side, there are a lot of market opportunities. The Japanese industry could invest in projects related to infrastructure, ICT Applications and Services, Emergency Telecommunications, IPv6, migration from analog to digital broadcasting, cybersecurity, climate change, human capacity building, and many other such hot topics.
ITU-D is a fantastic platform at your disposal that caters for business and development. During this reception I will be pleased to share with you some initiatives I am working on such as m-powering people, and emergency telecom and sustainable development.
We have reached 6 billion of mobile subscribers in the world. We should leverage this technology to empower grass roots people communities and to create new business opportunities.
We should also use emergency telecommunication for small business when there is no disaster. I would also like to hear from about what you expect from the ITU Development Sector in order to better serve you.
With these words, I would like to thank Mr. Mori and ITU Association of Japan, and all the CEOs and Representatives of Japanese Industry for the very warm welcome, hospitality and your presence at this wonderful luncheon.
I am very pleased to be in Japan. Later today, I shall be leaving for Sendai where we will hold a one day Symposium of the role of telecommunications/ICT in emergencies, and a number of Study Group Rapporteur Meetings on topics related to emergency communications. For those of you who might be in Sendai, I look forward to meeting with you again.
Above all and as bottom line, I come here to tell you that BDT is your partner because it is my deep conviction that Business creates development and development creates business.
I thank you.