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  • Greetings for the New Year 2022

Greetings for the New Year 2022

Happy New Year.
 I would like to start off 2022 by wishing you all a wonderful new year.
 In 2022, JIPA will continue our efforts to live up to the slogan “Creating IP Vision for the World”. To that end, we will drive the reinforcement of the global industrial competitiveness around IP and the development of excellent IP leaders through studying IP systems and government policies and providing the government with proposals as well as developing talent through training, which are the two pillars of our activities, so that we can contribute to the post-COVID economic recovery. It should be grateful of your continued support and cooperation with our association.
 Looking back on 2021, we went through many events in our “New Normal” lifestyles while facing unexpected situations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. After the vaccine rollout began in February 2021, 77.5% (as of December 1, 2021) of Japan’s population completed their second vaccine dose while new countermeasures are being rolled out such as the third vaccination known as “booster shots” and the antibody cocktail therapy, which is becoming common as a treatment method for COVID-19. We have ushered in an era where we coexist with COVID-19 while preventing and treating infections.
 From July through September last year, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games were held with COVID-19 measures in place after its postponement. Competing in their home country, Japanese athletes fought spectacularly, earning a record 58 medals in the Olympics and 51 in the Paralympics (the second highest number after the 2004 Athens Paralympics) respectively, cheering up Japanese people who had been in a dismal mood amid the pandemic.
 The Japanese government went through a major change, as the 100th Prime Minister Kishida succeeded Prime Minister Suga in October. I hope that the stagnant domestic economy will pick up as envisioned in PM Kishida’s plan of “new capitalism—the switch from neoliberalism—,” which is based on the concept of “virtuous cycle of growth and distribution.”
 Elsewhere in the world, the 2021 global economy recovered rapidly mainly in the U.S. and Europe, which preceded Japan in the vaccination rollouts. The global economic growth of 2021 was +5.9% (real GDP) and that of 2022 is projected to be +4.9% (economic growth rate of 2020: -3.1%), though it is necessary to be cautious to the Omicron variant coronavirus for a while. Meanwhile, emerging and developing countries are still in the middle of the pandemic with limited economic activities. This has resulted in increasing polarization of economic recovery. Although one third of the world’s population has been vaccinated, the vaccination rates of developing countries such as those in Africa are lower than a few percent. The vaccination disparity by country and region is significantly impacting the economic recovery. In this context, the news report that the WHO requested the vaccine manufacturers and governments to abandon their patents under these circumstances is one of the recent memorable stories for those of us involved in IP.
 The 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Princeton University senior researcher Syukuro Manabe and others for their success in simulation and analysis of the global warming mechanism. It is very meaningful that the research on global climate change, a topic pursued by all humanity, won the Nobel Prize, which impacted the COP26 held in the UK in November, soon after the awarding. In the business world, initiatives for SDGs and social challenges, including issues with climate change, energy and environmental pollution, are attracting attention. Having newly launched the SDGs Project last year, the JIPA has ongoing discussions on strengthening the collaboration with WIPO GREEN, utilizing IP for public interest, etc.

 I would like to conclude by hoping that we can come out of the long tunnel of the pandemic and have a long-waited wonderful year in 2022.

January 2022
Chairperson of JIPA
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