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             13 January 2000




In 1999, the United Nations University (UNU) received a 100 million contribution from the Government of Japan in memory of Dr. Yutaka Akino, who was killed in July 1998 while on active service with the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT). The UNU and Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) agreed that half of the contribution would be used to fund a 5-year "Akino Memorial Research Project on Central Asia" designed to help train young Japanese scholars under the broadly defined theme of "Peace and Environment in Central Asia."

Each year of the project, the UNU will award Akino Memorial Research Fellowships to several young Japanese scholars based on their research proposals for up to one year of field study in Central Asia. This year's Fellowship proposals were reviewed by a Selection Committee consisting of two UNU In-House Organizers - Prof. Hideo Sato, Senior Adviser to the Rector, and Prof. Iwao Kobori, UNU Programme Adviser - and three Core Research Scholars - Prof. Hisao Komatsu (Univ. of Tokyo), Prof. Tomohiko Uyama (Hokkaido University), and Prof. Tsuneo Tsukatani (Kyoto University).

At a 24 November 1999 review meeting, the Committee selected the first four Akino Memorial Research Fellowship awardees, two each in the programme areas of "Peace and Governance" and "Environment and Sustainable Development." This year's Akino Memorial Research Fellows are:

  • Ms. Yoko Hirose (M. of Laws), a graduate student in the University of Tokyo doctoral programme, who will do her research on "The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: In Search of the Peaceful Settlement of Ethnic Conflict in the Former USSR" in Baku, Azerbaijan;

  • Mr. Tetsuro Iji (M. of International Relations), a Ph.D. student in the Dept. of International Relations at the London School of Economics, who will do his research on "Multiplicity, Contingency, and Complementarity in Peacemaking: Conflict Management in Tajikistan" in Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan;

  • Dr. Yoshiko Kawabata (Ph.D. in Agriculture), a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Kanazawa University, who will research "Geochemical Analysis of the Pollution of Zerafshan River Basin" in Uzbekistan; and

  • Mr. Katsuyuki Shimizu (M.Sc.), a doctoral course student in the Graduate School of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, Osaka Prefecture University, who will research "Appropriate On-Farm Water Management in Kazakhstan through Developing the Water and Salt Balance Model" in the Kzyl-Orda region of Kazakhstan.

These four Akino Fellows met with the members of the Selection Committee for research advice and supervision at the UNU Headquarters on 11 January 2000. Each will depart early this year for their field research in Central Asia.

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