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Yohei Sasakawa
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Please Get Care Workers Tested for COVID-19 Under The Nippon Foundation Initiative [2021年04月27日(Tue)]
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has declared a third state of emergency for Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures, effective from April 25 to May 11, as the central and local governments struggle to contain a resurgence of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The general expectation is that the situation will get worse before it gets better.

Mr. Suga has embraced “self-help, mutual help, and public help” as his vision for society. “Things we can do for ourselves, we should first try to do ourselves. Then we should assist each other within our families and communities. Beyond that, the government will provide protection with a safety net,” he said in a policy speech before the Diet (Parliament) on October 26, 2020. Here, I would like to focus on “mutual help” in our battle against COVID-19.

As I announced at press conferences in January and February, The Nippon Foundation has been conducting free and regular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for COVID-19, targeting about 560,000 caregivers and other essential workers at more than 23,000 elderly nursing homes in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba.

Older adults and people with underlying health conditions are more vulnerable to becoming severely ill or dying if they become infected with the coronavirus. Therefore, the foundation’s PCR testing program aims at identifying positive COVID-19 cases with mild or no symptoms among nursing home staff and thus preventing them from unknowingly transmitting the coronavirus to the elderly in their care.

According to statistics compiled by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, nursing facilities accounted for more than 30% of 1,504 COVID-19 infection clusters reported in the country from January 13 to March 15, 2021−over three times the number at restaurants and drinking establishments.

I had hoped that nursing homes in the metropolitan area would take full advantage of free PCR testing, but I have seen few indications of local authorities guiding or encouraging them to do so.

The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported on April 3 that Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward, which is considered to be the keenest among the capital’s 23 wards on getting people tested, said that out of some 1,500 nursing homes in the ward, only 403 have had their caregivers take free PCR tests administered by the ward government.

Nursing homes are said to be reluctant to have their staff undergo the PCR tests mostly out of concern that if the results come back positive, they would be hard pressed to recruit replacements and family members would have to undergo two-week quarantine, according to the Yomiuri.

Similarly, the Asahi Shimbun (April 5) and the Nikkei (April 6) warned of the slow progress in conducting PCR tests on caregivers at nursing homes across Japan.

In conducting the PCR tests, The Nippon Foundation works closely with Kinoshita Group that runs laboratories to analyze the saliva samples sent in. We also asked infectious disease experts to look into our PCR testing project and received feedback affirming the reliability of the tests.

Despite our strenuous efforts to promote testing, only 47,959 essential workers at 1,329 nursing homes (out of some 560,000 at more than 23,000 facilities) took our PCR tests from March 1 to April 11. Of these, 13 tested positive for the disease, accounting for 0.03% of the total.

Why don’t the governments of Tokyo and the three other prefectures advertise the existence of our free PCR tests and the support to be given in case of recipients testing positive?

May I suggest that, from a humanitarian point of view, the governors work more proactively to make sure caregivers at nursing homes in their prefectures undergo the free PCR tests being offered by The Nippon Foundation, which are an example of “mutual help” from the private sector? This is all the more urgent, given the slow pace of Japan’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout as indicated in the table below.

I firmly believe that to battle the pandemic, it is crucially important to balance the “public help” by the government with “mutual help” and “self-help” by individual citizens fairly and equitably.

Until the country makes substantial progress with vaccinations, let us work together to ride out this national crisis by realizing the prime minister’s vision.

COVID-19 vaccine doses administered, as of April 24, 2021

Total number of vaccination doses administered as compiled by “Our World in Data,” a team of Oxford University students and staff. Note that these figures are for single doses and may not equal the total number of people fully vaccinated if the vaccine requires more than one dose.  
Posted by Y.Sasakawa at 10:21 | ENHANCING COMMUNITIES | URL | comment(0)
Greatly Impressed by Hideki Matsuyama's Caddie Bowing Respectfully to Augusta National Course [2021年04月23日(Fri)]
After Japanese golfer Hideki Matsuyama wins The Masters on April 11, 2021, at Augusta National, his caddie Shota Hayafuji lit up social media after CBS cameras picked up his respectful bow at the conclusion of the major golf tournament.

Japanese golfer Hideki Matsuyama made history when he won the 2021 Masters on April 11 at iconic Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, the United States. He became the first Japanese golfer to win a men’s major golf championship and the first Asian-born player to wear the Green Jacket.

But in the aftermath of his triumph, it was his caddie Shota Hayafuji who went viral on social media after CBS cameras picked up his respectful bow at the conclusion of the tournament. He collected the flag from the 18th hole as a keepsake and then turned to face the fairway, removed his hat and made a solemn bow as a gesture of respect to the famed Augusta course.

Following a recent rash of anti-Asian hate crimes in the United States, I was greatly impressed by the image of our countryman bowing at Augusta National, demonstrating an important feature of Japanese culture, which places heavy emphasis on respect−with bowing is one of the primary ways that people in Japan show this.

“An understated act of respect is melting hearts at the Masters and quickly going viral as one of the best highlights of the event,” reported AFP while FOX Sports said: “Matsuyama’s caddie Shota Hayafuji did something that captured the hearts and minds of the sports world.”

“The Masters commands so much respect in the golf world, and Hayafuji clearly recognizes that. To give the respect back to the course shows how much winning the tournament means to him and Matsuyama, well beyond just the money. What an awesome gesture,” golf writer Mr. Larry Brown wrote.

The bow captivated many golf fans and spectators around the world, and they took to Twitter and Instagram to appreciate the gesture.

Here’s a sampling:

“Class all the way. Great culture!” @BigRandyNLU

“Quite an image. My favorite moment of the day. So Japanese. So cool. Great culture.” @Sean_Zak

“This might be the best thing I have ever seen in golf.” @greenmarketguy

“What a moment for @ShotaHayafuji. Bowing to the course after Hideki wins” @caddieworld

“The bow to the course is one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen in golf. Wow! Big congrats to Hideki! What a weekend. What a tournament. Sad it’s over. Till next year.”@bantamgolf

“Amazing moment, so happy for them and they’re families AND Japan.” @sfish27
Posted by Y.Sasakawa at 10:00 | OTHERS | URL | comment(0)
“Doctor Cars” Donated by The Nippon Foundation, 3 Ex-SMAP Members to Fight COVID-19 [2021年04月21日(Wed)]
With Mr. Tsuyoshi Kusanagi (center), a former member of the iconic boy band SMAP, and Chairman Atsuhiro Sakamoto (right) of Nippon Medical School at a ceremony in Tokyo on April 9, 2021, to announce the donation of “Doctor Cars” by The Nippon Foundation and Love Pocket Fund to help battle the novel coronavirus.

I had the pleasure of attending a ceremony on April 9 to show to the media two “Doctor Cars” with a full inventory of medical equipment and supplies, which were donated to Nippon Medical School to help it battle the novel coronavirus.

Of the vehicles, the first (left in the photo above) was donated by The Nippon Foundation and the second (right) by “Love Pocket Fund,” established in April 2020 by the foundation and three former members of the iconic boy band SMAP−Messrs. Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, Goro Inagaki and Shingo Katori−who have formed a new group called Atarashii Chizu (Japanese for “new map”).

The first vehicle will be used by Nippon Medical School Hospital and the second by Nippon Medical School Tama Nagayama Hospital.

To treat COVID-19 patients with severe, life-threatening symptoms prior to transport to hospital, the Doctor Cars, also known as “Mobile ICUs” (intensive care unit), are equipped with ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) that pumps blood from the patient’s body, adds oxygen and removes carbon dioxide, then pumps the blood back into the patient.

Also joining the ceremony held at Nippon Medical School in Tokyo were Mr. Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, representing Love Pocket Fund, and the school’s chairman, Dr. Atsuhiro Sakamoto.

Mr. Kusanagi said: “I am very pleased that Love Pocket Fund donated the Doctor Car that is capable of saving as many lives as possible. Nothing is more important than life. I am very grateful to those who donated money to the fund.” He also expressed his deep gratitude to doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals not only in Japan but also around the world for risking their own lives working on the front lines battling COVID-19.

Mr. Kusanagi, now widely seen as one of the most talented actors in Japan, was presented with the 44th Japan Academy Award for Best Actor on March 19 for his outstanding performance in the film Midnight Swan.

In my remarks at the ceremony, I expressed my hearty appreciation to him for joining us despite his tight schedule and said: “I was really pleased that a celebrity like Mr. Kusanagi took the initiative in raising funds for Love Pocket Fund. It has had a huge positive impact on the general public.”

I also expressed my gratitude to the medical personnel for working at the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus, noting that The Nippon Foundation has been conducting free and regular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for COVID-19 for about 640,000 caregivers and other essential workers at nursing homes in Tokyo and three nearby prefectures.

As of April 9, donations to Love Pocket Fund totaled 398.3 million yen (about $3.7 million), which have been used mainly to support the COVID-19 response as well as women and children in need of help. One hundred percent of the money donated to the fund is being used for charitable activities with indirect costs borne by The Nippon Foundation.

I sincerely hope that with the help of Love Pocket Fund and its contributors, we will be able to help foster a donation culture in Japan and support people living in challenging circumstances.

Mr. Tsuyoshi Kusanagi shown on April 9, 2021 with “the Doctor Car” equipped with ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) donated by Love Pocket Fund to treat COVID-19 patients with severe, life-threatening symptoms prior to transport to hospitals.  
Posted by Y.Sasakawa at 09:06 | ENHANCING COMMUNITIES | URL | comment(0)
More Than Half of Japanese Youths Feel Stress Due To COVID-19 Restrictions [2021年04月16日(Fri)]
Are you feeling a sense of confinement due to the COVID-19 restrictions?

The prolonged novel coronavirus pandemic has caused Japanese children and youths to feel more anxiety and stress. According to the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the number of suicides among pupils of elementary, and junior and senior high schools in the country in 2020 increased by a sizable 140 to hit an all-time high of 479. This has prompted the ministry’s panel of experts to work out recommendations for enhancing measures to cope with children’s loneliness and isolation.

Against this background, The Nippon Foundation conducted an online survey from February 12 to 16 on “Coronavirus and Stress,” covering 1,000 Japanese aged between 17 and 19 across the country. It came days after the government extended on February 2 its state of emergency for Tokyo, Osaka and eight other prefectures by one month as the nation continued to battle rising COVID-19 cases.

The poll found that more than half of the respondents (50.4%) said they were feeling a sense of confinement as a result of the coronavirus restrictions, while more of them (58.7%) said they sensed people around them felt confined.

The respondents gave many reasons for feeling confined: They could not go outside as they wished; they had no idea when in-person classes would resume; they worried about whether they would be able to have jobs in the future; and they could not pay tuition as it was hard to find parttime jobs amid the pandemic.

When asked how COVID-19 affected their lives (multiple answers allowed), almost half of them (48.3%) said that they were unable to spend free time as they wished because of the government’s request to stay home. Of these, more than 9 in 10 (91.1%) reported they felt stressed. The survey also found that the pandemic was affecting young people’s lives in concrete ways with their pursuit of higher education or employment (23.2%) and their family and personal incomes (17.7%) being impacted negatively.

Asked to select what they experienced during the preceding month (multiple answers allowed), the most cited was a “continued sense of uneasiness and irritation” (36.8%), followed by “continued fatigue” (33.8%), “continued difficulty thinking and concentrating” (25.0%), “a feeling of wanting to die,” (16.0%) and “continued overeating or not eating” (12.4). Most seriously, 2.4% said they “attempted suicide.”

By sex, the survey found that more young females (43.2%) experienced a continued sense of uneasiness and irritation than their male counterparts (30.4%). This was attributable to the decreased amount of time women spent with friends or on going out or doing outdoor hobbies.

Queried about relationships that relieved stress and improved their spirits, a great majority (85.1%) picked boyfriend/girlfriend, as compared with friends, excluding school friends (70.2%), and school friends, including friends from school days (69.9%). These rated above mother (55.8%) and father (42.9%).

Asked whether there is a positive side to the coronavirus, only a few answered “yes” with one in five (23.4%) saying they had spent more time with family due to the government’s request to refrain from going out for non-essential or non-urgent purposes.

I believe that young people grow up and develop through their interactions with other people. To that extent, the COVID-19 pandemic must have caused them to feel much greater stress than people middle-aged and older. Analyzing the poll results, I feel anew the need to keep an eye out for changes in the attitudes of young Japanese.

Do you sense that people around you are feeling a sense of confinement due to the COVID-19 restrictions?

Please select all of the above that you have experienced over the past month (multiple answers allowed).
Posted by Y.Sasakawa at 10:49 | A FUTURE FOR YOUTH | URL | comment(0)
The Nippon Foundation to Set Up 500 “Third Spaces for Children” for Children Raised in Challenging Environments [2021年04月14日(Wed)]
Speaking at a press conference on March 15, 2021, to announce The Nippon Foundation’s decision to set up 500 “Third Spaces for Children” across Japan where children raised in challenging environments can stop by after school to play and study with adult supervision.

“Third Spaces for Children” are small communities that are neither homes nor schools where children raised in challenging environments can spend several hours after school on weekdays. They are the places where staff and volunteers provide the children with educational support, life counseling and meals as well as an opportunity to enjoy sports and outdoor activities together.

Since 2016, The Nippon Foundation has established 37 such facilities in 20 Japanese prefectures and has verified their effectiveness. Now, in response to a growing call for more such spaces, I announced at a press conference on March 15 that we will expand to 500 the number of “Third Spaces for Children” in Japan between now and 2025, contributing a total of 50 billion yen (about $455 million) for this purpose.

According to statistics compiled by the Japanese Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, about 2.6 million children aged under 18, or one in seven, live in poverty. The widening economic inequalities and the novel coronavirus pandemic have made life harder for these children, resulting in an increase in the number of juvenile suicides in the country. This has led many local communities to ask the foundation to build more “Third Spaces for Children.”

Under the project with the theme of “no child left behind,” the foundation helps public interest incorporated foundations, social welfare corporations, and non-profit organizations build and operate facilities, and purchase furniture, equipment and vehicles. After three years at most, the facilities will be taken over and run by those organizations or local governments.

On March 30, I attended a ceremony to open a new “Third Space for Children” in Minuma Ward, in Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo. This was the 38th facility since the initiative was launched in 2016 and the first under the expanded project.

The Nippon Foundation is receiving more applications between April 1 and 30 from organizations across Japan to join the project.

In 1973, my late father Ryoichi Sasakawa, founder and first chairman of The Nippon Foundation, established the Blue Sea and Green Land Foundation, known as B&G Foundation, to encourage our nation's young people to experience nature and actively participate in marine sports. It has built "B&G Marine Sports Centers," equipped with swimming pools, boathouses, gymnasiums and other athletic facilities in some 470 cities and towns all over the country.

Operated in cooperation with local governments and communities, these marine sports centers, which are also sometimes used as shelters in time of natural disasters, attract an estimated 12 million children and adults annually. They are located mostly by the sea, lakes or rivers away from big cities.

On the other hand, our new initiative calls for opening many new “Third Spaces for Children” in urban districts around the country.

As I said at the March 15 press conference, the late American zoologist Dr. Edward Morse wrote: “In no country in the world, are babies more closely attended or better behaved than in Japan,” in his book Japan Day by Day based on his observations while living in the country during the late 19th century.

Although it might have been a poorer country than now, Japan at that time preserved a culture in which whole communities worked hand-in-hand to take care of children. I honestly hope that the “Third Spaces for Children” project will help lead to a society where everyone cares for each other’s children.

2.jfif The press conference was held at The Nippon Foundation headquarters in Tokyo on March 15, 2021, with some journalists attending in person and others online.

Speaking at a ceremony to open a new “Third Space for Children” in Minuma Ward, Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo, on March 30, 2021.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of a new “Third Space for Children” in Minuma Ward, Saitama Prefecture, with the author standing second from left.
Posted by Y.Sasakawa at 10:30 | ENHANCING COMMUNITIES | URL | comment(0)
Does Japan Seem Like a Poor Model for Fighting COVID-19? [2021年04月09日(Fri)]
At least 161 countries and territories have administered over 693 million doses of a novel coronavirus vaccine in the four months since the United Kingdom became the first country in the world to start its vaccination rollout on December 8,2020.

But as I wrote in this blog on March 11, Japan falls far behind other countries in inoculating its people against COVID-19, and there is no sign of the country accelerating its vaccination program.

I would like to share with you the latest data collected by a team of Oxford University students and staff as of April 6 (see table below), which shows the United States has administered 168.59 million doses, followed by China (145.92 million), India (87.08 million), the United Kingdom (37.12 million), Brazil (22.85 million), and Turkey (17.37 million). But Japan has administered only 1.29 million shots, falling far behind not only other Group of Seven countries, but also some Asian developing nations, such as Indonesia (13.45 million) and Bangladesh (5.54 million).

For the sake of a fairer comparison, if we take a look at the total number of vaccination doses administered per 100 people in the total population, Israel led the list with 117.31, followed by the United Arab Emirates (87.55), Chile (59.13), United Kingdom (54.68), Bahrain (50.41) and Serbia (38.59). Japan came far below at 1.02.

The vaccine rollout strategy varies from country to country. Some have favored inoculating as many people as possible as quickly as possible, while others have tried to prioritize vaccinating specific vulnerable groups.

Japan started its vaccination campaign on February 17 by prioritizing about 4.8 million front-line medical personnel. It is using a Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that requires two doses to provide the greatest protection. But according to media reports, as of early April, only one fourth of those healthcare workers had been vaccinated at least once. This has led some medical professionals to claim in media interviews that they have no idea when they will be vaccinated, with no word given by the local authorities.

On April 12, Japan will start giving shots to approximately 36 million people aged 65 or older. But as for about 8.2 million people with underlying health conditions, some 2 million care workers at nursing facilities and the remaining adult population, no decision has been taken.

The central and local governments as well as the entire population have been struggling with COVID-19 for more than a year, but there are no signs of the pandemic receding.  

Believing that “vaccines will be the decisive factor” in our fight against the coronavirus, as Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has said, I sincerely hope Japan will not become a poor model for conquering COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccine doses administered, as of April 6, 2021

Total number of vaccination doses administered as compiled by “Our World in Data,” a team of Oxford University students and staff. This is counted as a single dose, and may not equal the total number of people vaccinated, depending on the specific dose regime (e.g. people receive multiple doses).

Posted by Y.Sasakawa at 09:43 | ENHANCING COMMUNITIES | URL | comment(0)
The Nippon Foundation Teams Up with Flea Market App Operator Mercari to Encourage Donations to Charity [2021年04月05日(Mon)]
With Mr. Shintaro Yamada (left), Mercari’s founder and chief executive.  The Nippon Foundation is partnering with Mercari to develop schemes for encouraging donations to charity.

The Nippon Foundation and flea market app operator Mercari Inc. have agreed to enter into a tie-up to develop and promote schemes for encouraging donations to charitable activities.

With approximately 18 million active monthly users, Mercari is Japan’s largest marketplace app operator that allows people to buy and sell used items online. The new partnership is designed to combine the expertise and networks of the two organizations with a view to creating society in which anyone can donate to charity easily.

Under the agreement announced on March 29, we will develop and promote campaigns and schemes for: (1) enabling Mercari traders to donate online part of the commissions they are charged; (2) encouraging offline donations utilizing Mercari’s existing educational programs such as “Mercari Classroom” and “Mercari Station”; and (3) allowing buyers and sellers to make quick donations via a special website and other means when people are hit by natural disasters. We plan to put these schemes into action in July or after.

According to a 2017 report compiled by the Japan Fundraising Association, individuals’ annual donations in Japan increased about 1.4-fold over the preceding seven years. Amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, 29% of Japanese teenagers want to donate to charity, according to a survey conducted by business design company Signing last May. These figures indicate growing interest among Japanese, including youths, in making donations to help solve social issues.

With gross merchandise value totaling about 620 billion yen (about $5.6 billion), Mercari has donated a total of 47 million yen (about $427,000) to nine organizations engaged in battling COVID-19, and to philanthropic organizations, including The Nippon Foundation, and local governments. The company also operates in the United States.

Since its founding in 1962, The Nippon Foundation has provided support to public-service activities in a variety of fields across national borders, using a part of the proceeds from Japanese motorboat racing as well as donations from the public, with the latter totaling more than 2 billion yen (about $18.2 million) in fiscal 2019. Its primary areas of activity include global maritime development, elimination of leprosy worldwide, support for children, support for persons with disabilities, disaster relief, and international cooperation, with the ultimate goal of achieving a society where all people support one another.

I sincerely hope that the new partnership with Mercari, armed with online and offline assets, will help create a new culture of donation in Japan and contribute to solving social and environmental issues around the world.
Posted by Y.Sasakawa at 16:31 | ENHANCING COMMUNITIES | URL | comment(0)
Honored to be Awarded the “National Order of Merit” of Ecuador [2021年04月01日(Thu)]
With Ecuadorean Ambassador to Japan Jaime Barberis (right) at a ceremony at his country’s embassy in Tokyo on March 29, 2021, to receive the “National Order of Merit”

It was a great honor for me to be decorated with Ecuador’s “National Order of Merit” in the grade of “Grand Officer.” The award was bestowed on me by Ecuadorean Ambassador to Japan Jaime Barberis at a ceremony at the embassy in Tokyo on March 29.

The National Order of Merit of Ecuador was established in 1921 to allow the president of the South American country to acknowledge work and service towards people's wellbeing, according to the embassy.

“In this context, President Lenin Moreno is pleased to pay tribute to Mr. Sasakawa's vision and his hearted passion for social work, which has without doubt led The Nippon Foundation to develop and conduct valuable and life-changing programs all over the world. We are all aware of Mr. Sasakawa's comprehensive experience,” the ambassador said at the ceremony.

In particular, he added: “Your work towards eradicating leprosy and to the improvement of living conditions for people with disabilities, are especially appreciated and recognized worldwide.”

The envoy was referring to more than 40 years of my global battle against leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, and the stigma and discrimination associated with it, as well as the foundation’s campaign to realize an inclusive society in which persons with disabilities can participate fully and are treated with dignity, fairness and respect.

In my quest for a leprosy-free world, I have acted in my capacity as chairman of The Nippon Foundation, WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination and the Japanese Government Goodwill Ambassador for the Human Rights of Persons Affected by Leprosy, the Ecuadorean government noted.

Ambassador Barberis also stated he must highlight that “along the path of your most distinguished career, you, Mr. Sasakawa and The Nippon Foundation have built alliances, cooperation linkages and friendships with countries, NGOs, international companies, and world leaders.”

“Ecuador is not the exception,” he said, noting: “Thus, a close relationship does exist. We have particularly converged on people with disabilities rights, a topic permanently promoted by Ecuador in international forums.”

In my remarks, I expressed my deep gratitude to Ambassador Barberis for hosting the ceremony despite the novel coronavirus pandemic and asked him to convey to President Moreno how honored I was to receive the award.

The Nippon Foundation and Ecuador share many goals. For example, I have been impressed by Ecuador playing a leading role in global efforts to conserve the ocean environment with its initiative to preserve the marine environment around the Galápagos Islands serving as a role model.

Conserving a healthy ocean environment is one of vital challenges in addressing climate change and environmental degradation, I said, and is seen as crucial for the survival of humankind over the next 500 to 1,000 years. I added that The Nippon Foundation has taken a leadership role as a private entity in this global campaign.

I have also been inspired by the South American nation’s commitment, led by President Moreno, to building an inclusive society in which every individual, with or without disabilities, has an active role to play−a movement which has now spread throughout the world under Ecuador’s leadership.

In this connection, I mentioned that The Nippon Foundation has joined “The Valuable 500” as a Global Impact Partner by providing support totaling $5 million over the next three years to the largest global network of CEOs committed to including persons with disabilities in business.

I look forward to further promoting private sector exchanges between The Nippon Foundation and Ecuador over the coming years.

Talking with persons affected by leprosy at the Hospital Gonzalo Gonzalez in Quito during my visit to Ecuador as chairman of The Nippon Foundation and WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination in October 2016.

With persons affected by leprosy, staff of the Hospital Gonzalo Gonzalez and WHO officials.
Posted by Y.Sasakawa at 16:58 | OTHERS | URL | comment(0)