CE explores I&T collaboration in Japan (with photos/video)

     The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, conducted the third day of her visit to Japan today (October 31). She visited innovation and technology (I&T) organisations and institutions in Tokyo to explore possibilities for collaboration between Hong Kong and Japan. She also attended a luncheon on women's leadership, the opening ceremony of an exhibition on Hong Kong architecture and a special concert celebrating the friendship between Japan and Hong Kong performed by alumni of the Asian Youth Orchestra (AYO) from Hong Kong and Japan.

     Accompanied by the Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Nicholas W Yang, Mrs Lam had a breakfast meeting with the President of the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Mr Michinari Hamaguchi, and its key members. Also present were the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, Dr Sunny Chai and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited, Dr George Lam. Managed by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the JST promotes state-of-the-art research and development (R&D) projects and spearheads co-creation of innovation. It also formulates long-term R&D strategies and promotes the transformation of technological achievements and related education. Mrs Lam said at the meeting that the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is determined to develop Hong Kong as an international I&T hub and has been advancing I&T development using an eight-pronged approach. She noted that she had proposed in her recent Policy Address the allocation of an additional $28 billion to support university research, encourage re-industrialisation and promote technological entrepreneurship. Mrs Lam said she encouraged technology enterprises, R&D institutions and academics from Japan to partner with their Hong Kong counterparts in research to make good use of the R&D grants and tax deduction for expenditure on R&D rolled out by the HKSAR Government.

     Later, Mrs Lam and the other officials visited the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) to meet with its President, Professor Kazuya Masu, to learn about the institute's development in technological research, as well as to view the supercomputer Tsubame 3.0. Tsubame 3.0, one of the largest supercomputers in Japan, has excellent computing power and energy efficiency. Tokyo Tech is one of the top four universities in Japan. Mrs Lam said she was pleased to learn that Tokyo Tech has established links with several universities in Hong Kong through a co-operation agreement and various collaborative research projects and student exchange programmes. She expressed the hope that Tokyo Tech would continue to collaborate with Hong Kong's universities to jointly enhance the level of scientific research.

     Mrs Lam then attended a luncheon organised by the Economist Corporate Network with women's leadership as the theme, at which she discussed with over 100 senior executives topics including women in leadership, female empowerment and assistance for women in career development. She introduced to the participants situation of women in Hong Kong in such areas as education, employment and appointment to public offices, and a series of initiatives in support of women and family-friendly measures by the HKSAR Government in order to give women equal opportunities for development and room to give full play to their talents.

     In the afternoon, accompanied by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, Mrs Lam officiated at the opening ceremony of the "More than High-rise: Exploring Hong Kong through Architecture" exhibition organised by the Hong Kong Institute of Architects in Tokyo. Speaking at the ceremony, she said that Hong Kong is not only celebrated for its skyscrapers, but also for historic built heritage such as the Blue House in Wan Chai and the PMQ in Central, with the former winning the Award of Excellence at the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. In addition, contemporary iconic buildings including Hong Kong International Airport, the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, the Xiqu Centre and M+ in the West Kowloon Cultural District also enrich Hong Kong's skyline and cityscape, she added.

     In the evening, Mrs Lam attended the "Asian Youth Orchestra Alumni Special Concert – Celebrating Friendship between Japan and Hong Kong" performed by more than 20 alumni of the AYO from Hong Kong and Japan. Based in Hong Kong, the AYO attracts many bright young musicians from all over Asia to Hong Kong for training every year and takes them to different parts of the world for performances and cultural exchange. The AYO has played a significant role in promoting arts and cultural exchanges between Hong Kong and Japan. The orchestra's first public concert in 1990 was held in Kumamoto, Japan. Since then, Japan has been one of the AYO's touring destinations almost every year. The AYO was awarded Japan's Praemium Imperiale Grant for Young Artists in 2010 in recognition of its contribution to the development of young artistic talents. It was also awarded the Nikkei Asia Prize in 2015 for Culture and Community for promoting friendship and understanding through the common language of music.

     Mrs Lam had dinner with the AYO musicians and will continue her visit to Japan tomorrow (November 1).

Ends/Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Issued at HKT 22:03