Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Day 4

Ota Floriculture Auction

Tokyo traffic catches up with us. A little late so the tour has to move fast. 2 million units sold a day. Second largest floriculture auction in the world after Holland. Dutch Reverse auction is new to most people. The clock starts high. A bidder stops the clock and can buy what they want at that price. The clock (price) starts reducing again until another bidder starts the clock. A quick call to our economics professor explained that starting at just above the price saves time. The ability to vary quantity is also handy. The GM really knows the business.

Merrill Lynch

Tokyo traffic disappears. We get there early. Merrill shows us the trading floor. Not as frenetic as expected. Great insight from speaker on Japanese financial markets. Cross holding is coming back. Speaker agrees to field further questions from the financial team. A viable business plan?

Ariake Waste Water Treatment

One of Tokyo’s major waste treatment plants courtesy of Environment Team A. The speaker has a real passion for innovation. Bricks from sludge. Another example of the Japanese educating the children on environment issues. All elementary school children in the Tokyo area tour the site. Advertisements have been shot in the underground tunnels, including one for Range Rover.

All wastewater is processed at Ariake -- including storm, rain runoff, and industrial and residential sewage. Every resident in Tokyo gets information on what they should and shouldn’t put down the drain. Although this is a government facility, striking to see how there is no red tape. Everything is organized and clean and the staff is dedicated and enthusiastic about their jobs.

A great role model for public institutions everywhere.

Walking under the treatment tanks is a little concerning a few days after the earthquake....

National Cancer Hospital

Class surprised that the hospital cannot take private donations. Cancer rates increasing in Japan. Still a lot of smoking. The premier rooms look like a hotel. Many students remarked at the spotlessness of the hospital. Interesting to see how much thought the Japanese put into everything – case in point, patient information is not displayed on the screen for all to see. You have to tap the screen a couple of times before patient info is displayed. Small yet meaningful way to protect patient privacy.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

A student decides to go home. Not feeling well. Turns out to be DVT. Moving around and moving feet while sitting on the airplane is a new priority. Very unfortunate.

No comments: