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[yuasa: forwarded]

I concur with you about the various Japanese folks.  The Japanese are
definitely status-conscious.  I also found out when I was there that
they are age-conscious, and assume a strong monotonic depedency between
age and level of responsibility.  (As a "high-ranking" Symbolics
technical person, I found out that they were surprised that I was
apparently only in my late thirties, and they were even more surprised
when they found out I was in my late twenties.  From what I've read,
this is pretty standard.)

I should also point out that Prof. Ida has specifically been active in
getting Common Lisp established as a standard within JEIDA.  It's hard
to explain what JEIDA is exactly, both because I don't know, and because
Japanese organizations and their roles do not map into American ones.
It's an industry organization.  It's probably sort of like EIA or IEEE
in some ways, at least insofar as it's a forum for adoptation of
standards.  In any case, the fact that Ida is involved in JEIDA is
probably another reason that it makes sense for him to be involved with
the Common Lisp standardization process.

Unfortunately, I don't know how much he really knows technically.  It
would be very hard to justify his inclusion on the technical committee
on the basis of his deep knowledge of Lisp and Lisp implementation
issues, based on what I know.  I could be wrong.

Here's a random idea: perhaps he really belongs on the steering
committee, and he could help us figure out who in Japan makes sense for
the technical committee?