On the evening of 16 May 2012, H.E. Ambassador Nishida, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, delivered a lecture on “Japan & the United Nations” in Japan Society. About 100 guests from all different consortiums, from diplomats of other Member States, to academia, as well as corporate and banking associates, attended.
After opening remarks by Mr. Sakurai, the President of Japan society, and Mr. Kent E. Calder, Director of the Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies at John Hopkins University, Ambassador Nishida, with humor, started his lecture by giving the audience an insight to the life of an Ambassador at the United Nations.
On a more serious note, Ambassador Nishida talked about the Great East Japan Earthquake and expressed his gratitude for the support Japan has received from New York community and from all over the world.
Then, he noted that Japan, since it joined the United Nations in 1956, has been deeply committed to the U. N., and continued his lecture with several topics of interest to the international community regarding the U.N and went over Japan’s approach towards some key issues that the U.N faces.
On the issue of abduction of Japanese nationals by DPRK, Ambassador explained that there still are missing victims despite their families’ sincere hope. Moreover, he said the issue of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs are security threats, and explained how the Security Council reacted to the launch of a missile on April 13. Ambassador Nishida insisted that the North Korea should listen to the message from the international community.
On disarmament and non-proliferation, Ambassador mentioned that small arms and land mines have been a threat and obstacle to development, and emphasized the importance of stopping the vicious cycle. On Iran’s nuclear program, Ambassador referred to the fact that Japan has decreased its import of oil from Iran although Japan is experiencing a difficult energy situation due to the Fukushima nuclear plants closure, and said that the problem should be resolved through diplomacy. On Afghanistan, Ambassador said it should not become a hide-out of terrorists again, and introduced that Conference on Afghanistan will be held in Tokyo following the NATO summit in Chicago on May 21. Furthermore, the Ambassador touched upon issues such as the Arab Spring, PKO, rule of law, etc. while the participants listened to his lecture eagerly.
After the lecture, Mr. Calder engaged in a dialogue with Amb. Nishida. Following the dialogue, the audience had the chance to ask questions to Amb. Nishida, and the Ambassador fielded questions on Japan’s contribution to PKO, and other issues.
Video of Ambassador Nishida's Lecture
▶Japan Society Website