U2’s Bono speaks with Japanese leaders on AIDS and Africa

Tokyo, December 1, 2006

Bono visits Tokyo continuing to advocate for the fight against HIV/AIDS and poverty in Africa.

Bono visits Tokyo continuing to advocate for the fight against HIV/AIDS and poverty in Africa.

The FGFJ, in cooperation with DATA (Debt AIDS Trade Africa) and Hottokenai, Sekai no Mazushisa, arranged a number of meetings and events for Bono in Tokyo between November 28 and December 1, 2006. The renowned musician and dedicated advocate for the fight against communicable diseases and extreme poverty had a high profile meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on November 29, when he urged him to provide more support for Africa and the fight against AIDS. He also visited with Sadako Ogata, president of the Japan International Cooperation Agency and former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, to discuss aid to Africa, communicable diseases, and human security.

On December 1, the FGFJ also convened a small group of 19 high-level leaders from various sectors to discuss AIDS and poverty in Africa and to explore ways of raising awareness in Japan on these issues and encouraging Japan’s general public to more actively engage in finding solutions to these challenges. The participants included key politicians such as Hon. Ichiro Aisawa and Hon. Kenji Kosaka; Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Mitoji Yabunaka; executives from leading companies such as All Nippon Airways (ANA), Mitsubishi, and Marubeni; representatives from NGOs including the Africa Japan Forum and the TICAD Civil Society Forum; and several prominent journalists such as Aiko Doden, NHK’s senior international affairs broadcaster on NHK. Following the roundtable, DATA and the FGFJ commemorated World AIDS Day by organizing a “Red and White reception” with more than 200 Japanese leaders in the fields of the arts, business, entertainment, and politics.