Japan Worried about Falling Presence at Int'l Bodies

Politics

Tokyo, June 28 (Jiji Press)--Japanese government officials are expressing a sense of crisis over Japan’s reduced presence at international organizations after the number of compatriots who hold senior positions at such bodies has decreased.

In a medium- to long-term effort, the government will strategically develop human resources who can be active internationally, at the initiative of an economic security team established under the National Security Secretariat in April, informed sources said.

Japanese officials who headed international organizations include Koichiro Matsuura, who served as UNESCO director-general from 1999 to 2009, Yukiya Amano, who became director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency in 2009 and passed away in 2019 while in office, and Koji Sekimizu, who occupied the post of secretary-general at the International Maritime Organization from 2012 to 2016.

Furthermore, the late Sadako Ogata, former U.N. high commissioner for refugees, and Yasushi Akashi, who contributed to building peace in Cambodia as a special representative of the then U.N. secretary-general, played prominent roles in the international stage.

However, none of the 15 U.N.-affiliated special organizations is currently headed by a Japanese national.

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Jiji Press