Chaired by Mr. Yasushi Akashi, Vice President of the UN Association of Japan and participated by Former Ambassador to the UN, Mr. Kenzo Oshima along with other 18 Japanese scholars and experts met former President José Ramos-Horta, Chair of the High-Level Independent Panel and two of his panel members and discussed how to improve UN peace operations.
On 27th January, Mr. Ichiro Aisawa, former Senior Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Member, the Board of Directors of UN Association of Japan convened a meeting of Japanese parliamentarians including Mr. Norio MITSUYA, former Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan and Mr. Seiji KIHARA, former Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Liberal Democratic Party, Mr. Satsuki EDA, former Minister of Justice and President of the House of Councilors, and Mr. Motohiro ONO, former Vice-Minister of Defense of the Democratic Party Komeito. They were joined by Mr. Kiyohiko TOYAMA of Komeito who was former Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs.
On 26th January 2015, former President José Ramos-Horta, Chair of the High-Level Independent Panel and two members, Mr. Ian Martin and Ms. Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu met with Japanese scholars and practitioners of peacekeeping and Special Political Missions (SPM) at the United Nations University. More than 30 persons participated in the informal consultation and exchanged their views on UN peace operations.
The 14th East Asian Seminar on the UN System was opened by Professor Keiko Oizumi of the Japan Association for UN Studies (JAUNS), Ambassador Chen Jian, President of the China Academic Net for UN Studies (CANUNS) and former Foreign Minister Han Sung Joo, Chairman of the Korea Academic Council on the UN System (KACUNS) on 13 December 2014 at Doshisha University in Kyoto.
The Rector of the UN University, David Malone, addressed the issues surrounding the United Nations and East Asia before the former practitioners and scholars from Japan, China and South Korea who gathered in Kyoto on December 12 for their annual seminar on the UN system.
On 6 December 2014, Professor Yuji Suzuki of Hosei University delivered a lecture at the Global Peacebuilding Academy on the relationship between Southeast Asia and China. The lecture presented a highly instructive, macro perspective of the political, social and economic changes taking place in the Asian region. (Emmi Okada)
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 20 November 2014, JICA held an international symposium which looked at Japan`s ODA from historical, political-economic and comparative perspectives. Professor Hasegawa called for conceptualizing Japanese aid in a global governance perspective.
The 2014 PKO International Conference was held at Sookmyung Women`s University Centennial Memorial Hall on 13 November 2014. At the conference organize by the Korea Peacekeeping Operations Center, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Korea AcaSedemic Council on the United Nations System, Professor Sukehiro Hasegawa spoke about the implications of financial, troop and civilian contributions made by Japan to UN peacekeeping operations since Japan became the member of the United Nations in 1956.
Professor Daisaku Higashi, Associate Professor and Deputy Director of the Research Center of Sustainable Peace at the Institute of Advanced Global Studies, University of Tokyo, shared his experiences and thoughts on the importance of ensuring inclusivity in rebuilding states and also gave an overview of the activities of the Peace Building Commission. (Emmi Okada)