Tokyo is back in the world's spotlight for a week with the 2012 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group currently happening here. The meetings started today, October 9, and finish on the 14th. This is the second time Tokyo has hosted such a meeting, the first being in 1964 when Japan's annual economic growth rate was over 10% - a far cry from today.
The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group meetings this year were supposed to be taking place in Egypt, but conditions in Egypt made it unfeasible, so Japan was chosen as an alternative.
A friend who works for a communications company says they have been deluged with requests from delegates for rental mobile phones, and many other companies are trying to make the most of the meetings commerically.
Perhaps the most newsworthy point about the 2012 Annual Meetings of the IMF and WBG is the fact that the Chinese banks have boycotted it, no doubt because of the current standoff between Japan and China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea.
The Japanese Ministry of Finance is sponsoring the meeting, and has put together what for Japanese bureaucracy is a very snazzy looking 2012 Tokyo Annual Meetings website. According to a message on the website from the Secretary General of the Meetings,
"We want to demonstrate the underlying power of the Japanese economy through our unique advanced technologies and services, and by conducting a global event with perfect efficiency."Brave words.
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