WIPO Director General Attends Series of High-Level Events in Tokyo to Commemorate 100th Anniversary of JIII

Geneva, May 28, 2004
Press Updates UPD/2004/226

On an official visit to Tokyo on May 25 and 26, 2004, the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Dr. Kamil Idris, participated in a number of high-level events to mark the 100th anniversary of the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation (JIII). Dr. Idris also held a number of bilateral meetings with top officials, including Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. The Director General commended the Japanese Government, and in particular the Prime Minister, for strong leadership in establishing a visionary and proactive intellectual property strategy taking into account the realities of the 21st century, often referred to as the century of knowledge-based society.

Dr. Idris lauded the Japanese Government for its efforts to promote intellectual property and referred to Japan's "proactive and comprehensive review" of its intellectual property system and Prime Minister Koizumi's strong leadership, including his own chairmanship of a special council of the cabinet level for Japan's intellectual property strategy. Dr. Idris said Prime Minister Koizumi's "aim of creating a nation built on intellectual property" speaks for itself and is indicative of the emphasis he and his Government place on tapping the intellectual resources of their country; encouraging and empowering potential inventors and creators; and instilling respect and admiration for innovative activity. Prime Minister Koizumi confirmed his belief that Japan with scarce natural resources needs to empower and leverage its human resources, and this should revitalize his nation's innovation. This was reflected also in Japan's current vision of a nation built on intellectual property.

The Director General also held talks with Mr. Shoichi Nakagawa, the Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry, and Mr. Tateo Kawamura, the Minister for Education, Science and Technology on a number of issues of mutual interest.

At the Commemorative Ceremony for the 100th Anniversary of the Establishment of the JIII, Dr. Idris addressed hundreds of participants from over 30 countries and paid tribute "to the 100 years of service and dedication the JIII has given to its task of nurturing national creativity and innovation and promoting the use of the intellectual property system." The ceremony was organized in the presence of Their Majesties the Emperor and the Empress as well as His Imperial Highness Prince Hitachi, and was attended also by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yohei Kono, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Mr. Akira Machida, and other cabinet members.

Prior to the ceremony, the Director General participated as a lead speaker in the International Symposium in Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the JIII. Under the theme of "Striving for a Common Understanding of and the Deepening of Respect for the Comprehensive Ideas of Intellectual Property Culture and its Global Grass-Roots Dissemination", Dr. Idris highlighted the critical role of intellectual property in spurring economic and social development and WIPO's vision of creating a global intellectual property culture.

"WIPO considers that the IP culture promotes a productive, well-functioning IP system that extracts the maximum economic, social and cultural benefits from national creativity and invention; encourages partnerships that facilitate the innovation cycle; and generates an understanding and appreciation among the general public of the important place of intellectual property in the construction of a better future," the Director General said.

The symposium concluded with the adoption of the Chair's summary, which highlighted the importance of the IP culture and its further dissemination to the world.

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