For the 7th Global Leadership Cafe lecture series held by Tokyo Tech Academy for Leadership (ToTAL), Mr. Motohide Yoshikawa, a former diplomat, gave a lecture entitled “My Life as a Diplomat: 1974-2016” on Wednesday, December 13, 2023. Mr. Motohide Yoshikawa has 42-years experience as a diplomat and served as Ambassador of Japan in multiple countries before appointed as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the OECD in Paris, and later, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations. 74 participants attended the lecture in person and online.

Date and timeWednesday, December 13, 2023 5:30PM-7:00PM
MethodIn person at M-103 Lecture room, Main Building 1st floor, Ookayama Campus and online via Zoom
Guest speakerMr. Motohide Yoshikawa (A former diplomat, former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, currently Distinguished Professor at the International Christian University)
ParticipantsTokyo Tech students, faculty or staff and the general public

Guest Speaker: Mr. Motohide Yoshikawa

Personal History

■Studies and early Diplomatic Career:
-Born in Nara, Japan in 1951.
-By the American Field Service Scholarship program, he graduated from LeRoy High School in LeRoy, Illinois, USA, in 1969.

-1974: Graduated from the ICU, International Christian University, in Tokyo and joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.
-At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he was Director of the Second International Organizations Division of the Economic Affairs Bureau and Director of the United Nations Policy Division of the Foreign Policy Bureau.
-Served at Embassies and Missions in Spain, Argentina, United Kingdom, OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) in Paris, Thailand, and the United Nations in NY.

■Senior positions in Tokyo:
-2002-2004: Deputy Director-General of the Economic Cooperation Bureau of the Ministry.
-2004 to 2006: Director-General of the Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau of the Ministry.

■10 years as Ambassador of Japan:
-2006-2009: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Spain
-2009-2010: Japan’s first Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan
-2010-2013: Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the OECD in Paris (Chair of the Executive Committee)
-2013-2016: Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations

■Current position:
-From April 2017: Distinguished Professor at his Alma Mater, International Christian University, ICU, where he teaches international relations and diplomacy

Lecture and Q&A Session

In his lecture, Mr. Yoshikawa talked about his study and experience in the U.S. when he was a high school student, what made him decide to become a diplomat, episodes with Ms. Sadako Ogata, some of his most important work as a diplomat and the social background at that time and such. After his lecture, he answered questions from the audience, both in person and online.

We would like to express our gratitude to Mr. Yoshikawa for sharing his valuable story about his 42-year career as a diplomat.

Voice of participants

・The structure being quite relaxed made it easier for me to focus on the content of the presentation. Also, the casual, story-like format of the presentation was very intuitive, interesting, and easy to follow.

・It was nice that there was plenty of time for questions and answers.

・It was nothing short of amazing!

・I was able to broaden and deepen my understanding of the major international events that I have been involved in, which are only known through newspapers and news reports, in the real voice of Mr. Yoshikawa, who had been a diplomat with heavy responsibilities for many years. I was especially impressed by the words of Sadako Ogata and former Secretary General Hammarskjold. Thank you very much.

・Very interesting!! It was a good thing that his talk focused on the important events/actions, not linearly present all his career history.