Ogata to resign as JICA president

January 17, 2012

At age 84, former U.N. official Sadako Ogata will step down as president of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in March.

Akihiko Tanaka, 57, vice president of the University of Tokyo and a scholar of international politics, will replace Ogata, a former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, on April 1.

The government announced the decision on Jan. 17.

“Tanaka is a globally renowned academic of international politics,” Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba told a news conference. “He has made distinguished achievements in foreign affairs, national security and many other fields, while offering insightful suggestions to the government.”

Ogata assumed the post in 2003 when the JICA became an independent administrative agency as part of the government’s drive in 2001 to reorganize government-affiliated organizations for efficiency and transparency.

Given her age, Ogata had been considering resigning from the post, but the JICA was unable to find a worthy replacement, resulting in the unusual situation of her staying on for a third term from October last year.

Tanaka will stay in the post until the end of September 2015, when Ogata’s third term was to expire. The JICA president is allowed to be reappointed after his or her four-year term expires.

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Sadako Ogata (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Sadako Ogata (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

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  • Sadako Ogata (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
  • Akihiko Tanaka (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

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