Table Speech

Initiation speech

August 9, 2006

Mr. Tetsuya Kobayashi,
Dr. Takashi Tajiri,

“Hotels in Tokyo”

Mr. Tetsuya Kobayashi,
President, Imperial Hotel, Ltd.

 It was one hundred and twenty to thirty years ago when European style hotels were born in Japan. They were constructed to entertain distinguished guests from Europe and the United States. The Imperial Hotel was built in 1890, which was one hundred and sixteen years ago. The biggest investor then was the Imperial Household Agency, I heard.

 At the beginning of the 1960’s, the first construction boom started taking advantage of the Tokyo Olympic Games. Hotels with a scale of four hundred to five hundred rooms were constructed in the center of Tokyo. Subsequently, national events including Osaka Expo, the Sapporo Winter Olympics, and Okinawa Ocean Expo were held one after the other during a period between the latter half of the 1960’s and the middle of the 1970’s. That was the second hotel construction boom. Hotels were constructed also in some local major urban areas.

 The third hotel construction boom started at the time when the hotel using population began to expand during the stable economic growth period of the 1980’s. Narita International Airport opened in 1978, which prompted the construction of luxury hotels in big cities.

 The fourth came after the collapse of the bubble economy in the 1990’s. Hotel construction was promoted by real estate development projects.

 The fifth started in the 2000’s and later. High-class hotels backed by foreign capital and domestic hotels are continuing to open. Totaling the guest rooms of these hotels, the number will be almost five thousand including those with plans for 2008.

 The number of foreign tourists visiting Japan was about seven million in 2005. According to recent statistics, France is the country with the largest number of tourists from abroad, which was about eighty million a year.

 Following France are Spain, the U.S., Italy, and China, and Japan ranks thirty-third.

 The “Visit Japan Campaign”, organized by the national government and the Tokyo metropolitan government set a goal to increase the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan from five million in 2002 to a twofold increase of ten million in 2010. The hotel industry wishes to enhance the level of their products and services in the environment where “competition is intensifying” and “demand is increasing”.

“Recent medicine and parent-child relationships”

Dr. Takashi Tajiri,
Chief Professor & Director of the Department of Medicine, Nippon Medical School

 Parents are trying to put their lives on the line to care for their children if they fall ill or are congenitally sick. This parent-child relationship supports live donor liver transplant treatment.

 It was in 1989 when a live donor liver transplant was performed for the first time in Japan. The Law Concerning Organ Transplantation was enacted in October 1997, by which transplants from brain-dead donors was authorized. Thirty-one cases have occurred during the nine years since then.

 Thereafter, the number of such transplant cases has gradually increased and there are now more than three hundred cases a year nationwide, and in total it has reached three thousand. Livers were transplanted from live donors mainly to children suffering from biliary atresia as the definitive treatment for them.

 Biliary atresia is a deadly disease by which the liver turns to cirrhosis hepatitis as a patient advances in age. This has become a curable disease through live donor liver transplantation.

 Parents or grandparents will become live liver donors. In the last twenty years, one thousand cases have been found, but there has been no immediate family member who refused to be a donor. This shows the parent’s feeling for their children, and represents the natural parent-child relationship.

 Currently, live donor liver transplant treatments are given to adults as well. Two thirds of three hundred cases a year are transplants between adults.

 Initially, coverage of health insurance had been limited to protopathic biliary liver cirrhosis, biliary sclerosis, and fulminant hepatitis. From 2005, however, viral liver cirrhosis and hepatocarcinoma (within a certain criteria) have begun to be covered by health insurance.

 In case of transplant between adults, those who can be donors are relatives within the sixth grade of blood relationship or relatives of the third grade of non-blood relationships. But with restraints such as age, blood type, or dimension of liver, actually the number of candidates for donors will decrease.

 Especially since live donor liver transplants from children to parent are hardly acceptable both from socialistic and humanitarian points of view, actual cases account only for some ten percent.

 For transplant treatment for the future, I think the issues are how to secure donors so that transplants of liver of brain-dead donors and that of live donors are treated in good balance.