Kato is unassuming and approachable with a splash of patriarchal charm. Although having operated for nearly four decades in Japanese foreign policy, he maintains a youthful quality that, without a doubt, has helped ensure his success.
He begins his speech: “In olden times, in England and Scotland, when someone gave a toast, they would stand on a chair and put one foot on the table. I like this. It’s more my style.” The guests laugh, sharing perhaps for the first time that night, a light-hearted moment.