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November 3rd, 2017. Hideki Mitani speech at the UTNY conference.
“Globalization of Indifference” and us.
Brothers and sisters. First of all, thank you very much for your coming and joining us this afternoon.
I am participating in both activities; “Fight Against Infectious Diseases in Africa”, and “Fight Against Alzheimer’s Disease by Growing and Eating Pecan”.
Approximately 50% of the world population is living with less than $2.50 a day and more than 1 billion people among them are living with less than $1.25 a day. They don’t have access to clean water, mosquito nets, little bit of electric, nor vaccines; and, infectious diseases are the largest reason to lose their lives. More than 50% of the population in developing countries die suffering infectious diseases.
In advanced countries like Japan, one of the largest healthcare and social problems is Alzheimer’s disease. One in 5 of older than 65 years old are expected to suffer this disease.
We saw so many natural disasters in the world caused by the climate change. But still there are political leaders like Donald Trump who denies the climate change. Trees are cut and forests are diminishing in many countries.
What can we do to deal with those gigantic global issues? They are not someone’s problems. They are our problems; existing on our common home, the earth. We tend to think; “Oh, they are surely big problems; but I am too small and powerless and can’t do anything”. I think so too if I suppose to act alone. I am too small and have absolutely no power to make any changes.
But, let me think in this way. No, I can’t do anything if I act alone: but, yes, there should be something we can do if “we” work as a group combining our time, talent and treasure. Yes, we must be able to do something!
We can fight against infectious disease in Africa as we watched today.
We can fight against Alzheimer’s disease as you heard today.
We can plant thousands of pecan trees to turn the desert in Arizona and the land totally wiped out by tsunami in Rikuzen-Takata to beautiful orchards. Their nuts increase anti-occident in our bodies and keep us healthy.
Yes, we can participate in those activities in various ways.
Your/our donation to pecan project will enable us to establish a scholarship for future orchard farmer in Japan. We don’t have any professional farmer in Japan. We have to give educational opportunities to Japanese young men and women.
Your/our donation to GUIDE-AFRICA will enable us to assist clinical trial of new vaccines, sending “1 dollar water cleaners”, mosquito nets, widely used vaccine and drug, and long life batteries to our brothers and sisters in Africa.
Sumire Hirotsuru is a student at Juilliard playing violin. She contributed her time and talent to make GUIDE-AFRICA website. Also, she will play beautiful chamber music with her colleagues for us this evening.
Yasuo Egashira is Producer/Videographer who took a documentary film of Yoshi Kawaoka and his team’s Sierra Leone project that you watched today and he is going to make another for Rikuzen-Takata pecan project.
Both of them are role model and the best examples of contributing their time and talent in our activities. Already some individuals, corporations, foundations, churches, broadcasters and governmental entities are participating and helping us. And you can do the same.
You/we can fight against “Globalization of Indifference”; ignoring our common problems in our common home.
We need your support. We hope you joining us. We would like to walk with you, march with you toward our common goals.
Finally, let me talk about what you would get from participating in these activities. I am sure you will find JOY in your heart, which is priceless. Because you can find HOPE in this hopeless world. That’s what I’ve experienced. I am a witness.
Thank you very much for your listening. God bless you and peace be with you.
Hideki Mitani is currently acting as not-for-profit investment banker, as Senior Advisor to Dean of the Institute of Medical Science and Director General of Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo. He was Founder and Managing Director of Roberts Mitani, LLC, an investment bank he established in 1992 in New York.