Published on Let's Talk Development

Postcard from Tokyo

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Whether Jobs in the Middle East and North Africa and the freedom to prosper or the ‘What Will It Take to End Poverty’ campaign being championed by Jim Yong Kim, or the views of Japanese union representatives who think it’s more important to put jobs before debt, the priority for many here at the Tokyo Annual Meetings has been to put people first. Japanese officials were part of a dialogue in Sendai and the country’s Comprehensive Strategy for Rebirth was held up as the type of approach that holds lessons for other countries grappling with disaster. Jim Yong Kim at his Annual Meetings press conference noted that, if Haiti had used the kind of sophisticated early warning system that Japan had in place ahead of their great quake, thousands of lives could have been spared.

Yet large scale events with negative effects – whether sovereign debt problems in Europe, food insecurity triggered by drought or other climate-related catastrophes, or unrest in parts of the Middle East – are inevitable and therefore require concerted action globally, regionally and nationally. These and other issues are on the agenda in Tokyo this week.

Following are a few pics that give a flavor of what’s been going on.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim Press Conference at the 2012 Tokyo IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings
Photo: Simone D. McCourtie / World Bank

Representatives, Japanese Union
Photo: Merrell J. Tuck-Primdahl/World Bank

Session, Jobs in the Middle East and North Africa
Photo: Merrell J. Tuck-Primdahl/World Bank

People participate in the global "What Will It Take?" campaign and share ideas on how to end poverty and improve lives
Photo: Simone D. McCourtie / World Bank

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim speaks at the closing session of the Sendai Dialogue
Photo: Simone D. McCourtie / World Bank


Merrell Tuck-Primdahl

Communications Director, Brookings Institution’s Global Economy and Development Program

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