Message from Isao Kano, JCIE/Japan President & CEO

It is my great pleasure and honor to assume the post of president and CEO of the Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE/Japan) as of April 1. Looking at the impressive achievements of my predecessors as they built this leading Japanese nongovernmental foreign affairs institute, and the quality and dedication of the staff that sustain this organization, I am keenly aware of the heavy responsibility that I am assuming and will do my utmost to fulfill my duty to JCIE’s stakeholders.

Over the past nine years, my predecessor, Mr. Akio Okawara, has promoted a wide range of international exchange programs, facilitating substantive intellectual dialogues on a range of regional and global issues. As a result, JCIE has achieved steady results in fulfilling its social responsibilities as a nonprofit organization working for the public good. During this period, JCIE celebrated its 50th anniversary and developed a variety of projects that respond to changes in the international community and the needs of the times, thereby laying the foundation for its continued activities into the future.

Tadashi Yamamoto, the founding president of JCIE, established this organization in 1970. That was five years before the first summit meeting of the industrialized countries (then the G6) was held in Rambouillet, France, and three years before the founding of the Trilateral Commission, where Japan first joined the ranks of industrialized countries, with JCIE serving as the secretariat for the Japanese side. JCIE was a true pioneer in nongovernmental diplomacy.

I share the belief of our founder that it is essential to build strong friendly relations at the private level in order to realize mutual understanding and cooperation on a global scale. JCIE’s assets are the trust and achievements built by all of its staff, who have shared and acted on the founder’s philosophy of being a catalyst for dialogue across borders.

We live in an era in which world affairs are more unpredictable than ever, but I believe that my predecessors’ era was by no means easy to predict either. They overcame many crises, from the oil shock that impacted Japan’s economy shortly after JCIE’s founding to the Asian financial crisis, the Lehman Shock, and the Great East Japan Earthquake. They have kept the light of international exchange burning and inherited the noble aspirations set forth by Mr. Yamamoto, and they have passed on that precious mantra to the many people who have been involved in its activities. I am truly moved and humbled by the importance of the baton that has been passed now to me.

My mission is to further develop JCIE as an important public asset to be passed on to the next generations. Working together with our staff members, who have impressed me with their high degree of integrity and sense of purpose, I hope to be able to contribute by drawing on my four decades of experience as an international businessperson and the insights I have gained through my postings in seven overseas locations. I hope to further strengthen our institutional footing in a way that enables us to continue to bring together people on the basis of shared concerns and shared values, have a greater impact in the fields we are addressing, and respond even more flexibly and creatively to the pressing challenges facing the world today.

I look forward to your continued support and encouragement.

President and CEO
Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE/Japan)
April 1, 2023