Wednesday, Bono met with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, asking him to continue Japan’s efforts to help the developing world.
Bono’s remarks after the meeting:
“I found Prime Minister Abe to be a very warm man, very interested in these issues. I was surprised that he gave me twice the time allocated to the meeting to talk about AIDS and extreme poverty.”
“We are coming up to World AIDS Day on Friday. This is a great chance to talk about the fact that the Global Fund was given birth to here in Japan at the Okinawa G8 Summit in 2000. I told Prime Minister Abe this is one of the greatest ideas of the 21st century. There are now over half a million people alive in the poorest countries because of this idea. A Japanese idea.”
“On tour, we’ve met a lot of young people looking for meaning in a meaningless world. They think it’s mad that 8,000 people are dying a day of AIDS, a preventable, treatable disease, that 5,000 people are dying a day, mainly children, of a mosquito bite from malaria. In Japan they have a word for their reply to this madness, it’s ‘hottokenai’.”
“Under the previous Prime Minister, Mr Koizumi, Japan promised to double aid to Africa. Prime Minister Abe said he would do everything he can to keep this promise, despite the real economic difficulties he faces. We talked about the G8 meeting in Japan in 2008 and how this is an opportunity to show the rest of the world what Japan stands for.”