The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA) announced on Friday, 19 March, that a major contribution is being made to the United Nations University (UNU) in memory of Dr. Yutaka Akino. This donation has been secured from this fiscal year’s supplementary budget.
Dr. Akino, an associate professor of the University of Tsukuba and expert on Central Asia, was dispatched in April 1998 by the Government of Japan, in response to a request from the United Nations, as a Civil Affairs Officer of the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT). He was killed along with three UNMOT colleagues by unidentified assailants on 20 July 1998, while on active service in Tajikistan.
The UNU and MOFA have agreed that the Akino Memorial Donation, ¥100 million in total, will be used over a period of several years to support four separate UNU activities.
Half of the money, or ¥50 million, will be used to fund a new 5-year research project in the area of Dr. Akino’s academic interest, most likely a multinational project on Eurasia. Research results from the project will be published by the UNU Press.
Another ¥21 million is to be allocated over a period of four years (1999–2002) to fund one of the UNU International Courses (UNU/IC), which will be called “Akino Memorial Course.”
The UNU/IC programme, aimed at training young people interested in working for internationally oriented public or private foundations, is consistent with Dr. Akino’s wish to encourage others to follow him in working for international causes. The amount of ¥20 million of the Akino Memorial Donation (some ¥2.5 to ¥5 million per year) will be used to provide financial support to promising UNU/IC trainees (particularly Japanese trainees) interested in working as interns for international organizations.
The final ¥9 million will be used to organize an annual Hokkaido Session of the UNU’s Global Seminar series in memory of Dr. Akino who was born and brought up in Hokkaido. These seminars, started in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1985 and also in Kobe since 1995, are intended to bring about a better understanding of the UN and global issues among young people.
The UNU will carry out these activities in consultation with an Akino Memorial Donation Advisory Committee that includes, among others, academic members of the Akino private fund support group.
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For further information, please contact:
UNU Public Affairs Section
Tel.: (03) 5467–1243, –1246
Fax: (03) 3406–7346.