In late 2012, Professor Kauzyuki Tohji visited Colorado to talk about how Smart Energy solutions were helping the tsunami and earthquake devastated Tohoku region of Japan recover – and to become more disaster resilient. The tour had been arranged by my friend Deputy Consul General Hiromoto Oyama.
I was his local Fort Collins host for the day he was here. I gave him the 2-hour tour of Fort Collins, including the famous Engine and Energy Conversion Lab at CSU. He and I had a great time exchanging ideas and stories. At the end of our meeting he asked if I might be interested in coming Japan and speaking at his 2013 symposium on smart grid and smart energy. Yes, I’d be quite honored.
A few weeks later I received a formal invitation. I traveled to Japan in March, 2013 – the second anniversary of the Tohoku disaster – and spent 2 weeks in northern Japan visiting energy related sites, old friends, and hot springs lecturing and listening. It truly was an honor.