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Senior Adviser to the Rector
Before being appointed Senior Adviser to the Rector in May 1979, Dr. Saburo Okita (1914-1993) had a long and distinguished government career as an economist. After holding high-level positions in the Economic Planning Agency (Japan), he left government service in 1963 to become President (1964-73) and Chairman (1974-79) of the Japan Economic Research Center, and also served as President of the Overseas Economic Co-operation Fund (1973-77).
Dr. Okita resigned as Senior Adviser to the Rector upon his appointment as Foreign Minister (Japan), a post he held from 1979 to 1980. His subsequent posts included Government Representative for External Economic Relations (1980-81) and President (1982-87) and Chancellor (1987-93) of the International University of Japan.
Dr. Okita was also involved in various international activities. He was a member of the UN Committee for Development Planning (1965-80), member of the World Bank's Commission on International Development (1968-69), member of the High-level Expert Group of OECD on Science Policy (1970-71), and member of the World Commission on Environment and Development (1983-87). He also served as Chairman of the Governing Board of the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU/WIDER; 1985-93).
Dr. Okita was the recipient of several international awards, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award for International Understanding (1971), Companion of the Order of Australia (1985), Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun (1986), and the Britannica Award (1987). He wrote numerous articles and books on Japan's economy, Asian economic development, international relations, and other topics. His books in English include Developing Economics and Japan: Lessons in Growth (1980) and Japan's Challenging Years: Reflections on My Lifetime (1983).