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On 16 September, the APO welcomed its 10th Secretary-General Mari Amano. He was elected unanimously at the 55th APO Governing Body Meeting held in Tokyo in May 2013 to succeed ninth Secretary-General Ryuichiro Yamazaki, who completed his term of office on 15 September.
Secretary-General Amano is a graduate of the University of Tokyo, where he received a BA in economics, and studied at Hertford College, Oxford University, to obtain a diploma in social studies. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in 1973 and had a distinguished 40-year career. He held several posts in Japanese embassies to the USA (1996), Thailand (1994), Kuwait (1987), and the UK (1976). In the Tokyo MOFA office, he served as Deputy Director General of the Multilateral Cooperation Bureau (2000) and Economic Affairs Bureau (1998), as well as Director of the Overseas Public Relations Division (1992) and desk officer in other divisions in the Economic Affairs Bureau (1989, 1984, 1978) and Economic Cooperation Bureau (1980).
More recently, he served as Consul-General of Japan in Houston, Texas, USA, from 2001 to 2004, and as the Acting Director-General of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization from 2004 to 2007. Subsequently, Secretary-General Amano was the Deputy Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris from 2007 to 2011. Immediately prior to joining the APO, he was Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and the Permanent Representative of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Switzerland, from September 2011 to September 2013.
A father of three daughters, in his free moments Secretary-General Amano enjoys sailing and is interested in collecting French wines.
Taking office at the Secretariat on the first day, the new Secretary-General was looking forward to enhancing the APO’s relevance to the needs of a rapidly changing world. He commented, “I would like to upgrade the APO to become an international organization with the highest productivity.”
His aspirations for APO members spanning the Asia-Pacific region include an emphasis on green technologies, women, and the service sector. “I would like to build a solid personal friendship with each and every APO Director, and to that end I will try to visit all of them in their capitals in my first year,” the Secretary-General stated. “Reaching out to such nonmembers as Myanmar, Brunei, the United Arab Emirates, and Africa should also be within our scope.”
The APO welcomes Secretary-General Amano, who will use his wealth of experience in diplomacy, economic development, and management to lead the APO and contribute to the sustainable development of member economies.