Kihara-Hunt succeeds Professor Katsumi Ishizuka who had completed his term as the Secretary-General at the end of March and Mr. Shintaro Higashiyama who acted ad interim until his departure for Bangladesh on an IOM assignment.
At its annual meeting of the General Assembly of the Peacebuilding Research Association of Japan (PRAJ) on 6th December 2014, Professor Katsumi Ishizuka of Kyoei University was appointed as the Secretary-General of PRAJ. He had earlier been appointed as acting Secretary-General after the departure of Mr. Yasuki Uchiyama for his study in England. Professor Ishizuka teaches in the Department of International Business Management at Kyoei University, Japan. He obtained a PhD at Keele University, England, in 2000. His research interests include UN peacekeeping operations and peace-building. He wrote several books including “The History of Peace-building in East Timor” (New Delhi: Cambridge University Press India, 2010). The General Assembly of PRAJ re-elected Professor Sukehiro Hasegawa as its President, and it also approved that Professors Satoru Kurosawa and Takaaki Mizuno continue in office as members on the Board of Directors. Then, the Assembly elected Professors Daisaku Higashi, Eiji Oyamada and Masako Yonekawa to the new directors.
On 1 March 2014, the General Assembly of the Peacebuilding Research Association held at Hosei University adopted its constitution and elected Mr. Yasuki Uchiyama as its new Secretary General. The General Assembly also elected five members of the Board of Directors, Mr. Katsumi Ishizuka, Mr. Satoru Kurosawa, Ms. Chika Saito, Mr. Sukehiro Hasegawa and Mr. Takaaki Mizuno. Professor Sukehiro Hasegawa was voted to continue as the President of the Association.
The inaugural session of the Heiwa Kochiku Kenkyu Kai (H3K – Peacebuilding Research Group) was held at Hosei University on April 20th. The group is led under the direction of Special Advisor to the President of Timor-Leste, Professor Sukehiro Hasegawa, and managed by students and professionals in and around the Tokyo area. Aiming to broaden their own understandings of peacebuilding and share their learning with the wider world, the group has decided to hold both study sessions led by students and seminars with prominent guest speakers. The first session held on 20 April was divided into two subjects. In the first, Professor Yasunobu Sato of Tokyo University’s Graduate School spoke on the issue of human security. Mr. Sato explained the multifaceted nature of the field, which encompasses a vast range of issues from protection from diseases to disasters. Mr. Shogo Yoshida, who serves as the group’s Secretary General, also spoke on the writings of scholars in this important field. In the second session, Mr. Hideki Hayashi of the Japan Peacekeeping Training&Research Center of the Joint Staff College, and Associate Professor Yuji Uesugi of Waseda University shared their perspectives on the protection of civilians within United Nations peacekeeping missions. Both sessions allowed for members to present questions and engage in discussion. (Jason Pratt)