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Japanese representative


Masayuki Ida is in fact the person we have been discussing as the most
likely Japanese candidate all along, but it's nice to know that Koiuchi
also feels that he's the obvious guy.  Our major reservation was that he
might be too junior, so selecting him might be viewed as some sort of

Ida is the guy who translated Steeele's book into Japanese, and he has
been working on various Common Lisp standardization efforts over there,
including proposals for a subset and for an extension to Kanji
characters and strings.  Apparently the focus of Common Lisp activity
over there is a committee within JEIDA (Japanese Electronics Industry
Development Association), which has been running for about a year with
Ida as the chairman.

Ida was recently promoted to associate professor at Aoyama Gakuin
University -- I'm not sure where that university is in the fairly
well-defined Japanese pecking order.  He speaks adequate English for
communication, though he's not very fluent -- see his recent note to the
Common Lisp mailing list.  He now seems to be able to send and recieve
netmail via CSnet with about a half-day latency.

Let me propose the following model, which we can bounce off of the
various senior Japanese contacts that we have to see what they think
about it:

1. Any individual in Japan who has a stable netmail connection to the
U.S. and an interest in the standardization of Common Lisp is encouraged
to join the Common Lisp mailing list and to participate in the
discussions.  (Apparently a rebroadcast point is being established at
NTT, so that one message can be sent there and can be forwarded to
everyone on JUNET.  However, Ida prefers to get direct mail via CSNET to

2. The committee within JEIDA should continue to be the focus for
Japanese Common Lisp activities.  In the future, we will attempt to stay
in much closer contact with this group via netmail.

3. Though any number of Japanese researchers can participate in our
design discussions via the Common Lisp mailing list, we invite the JEIDA
committee to elect one representative to sit on our technical committee,
and one person (it may be the same person) to sit on our steering
committee for the purposes of formal liaison between the two groups.
The choice is up to them.  (I wouldn't be surprised if Ida were

If we agree that this is a reasonable model, the next step would be for
people who know the leading CS people in Japan to solicit their opinion
of this.  It has the advantage that we're not telling them who to nominate,
so we don't have to weigh seniority against interest and knowledge; the
disadvantage is that we might get someone inappropriate from our point
of view, but I think it unlikely that any of these people will poison
the process.

-- Scott