Yukiya Amano

Yukiya Amano

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is the current Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency
International Atomic Energy Agency
The International Atomic Energy Agency is an international organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons. The IAEA was established as an autonomous organization on 29 July 1957...

 (IAEA), having been elected to the position in July 2009. Amano previously served as a Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese diplomat
A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with another state or international organization. The main functions of diplomats revolve around the representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state, as well as the promotion of information and...

 and international civil servant
Civil service
The term civil service has two distinct meanings:* A branch of governmental service in which individuals are employed on the basis of professional merit as proven by competitive examinations....

 for the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 and its subdivisions.

Early life

Amano was born in Kanagawa Prefecture
Kanagawa Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the southern Kantō region of Japan. The capital is Yokohama. Kanagawa is part of the Greater Tokyo Area.-History:The prefecture has some archaeological sites going back to the Jōmon period...

, Japan, in 1947. He started his studies at the University of Tokyo
University of Tokyo
, abbreviated as , is a major research university located in Tokyo, Japan. The University has 10 faculties with a total of around 30,000 students, 2,100 of whom are foreign. Its five campuses are in Hongō, Komaba, Kashiwa, Shirokane and Nakano. It is considered to be the most prestigious university...

 in 1968. After graduating from the Faculty of Law, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Japan)
The is a cabinet level ministry of Japan responsible for the country's foreign relations.The ministry is due to the second term of the third article of the National Government Organization Act , and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Establishment Act establishes the ministry...

 in April 1972. He specialized in the international disarmament issue and nuclear nonproliferation efforts. In 1973–1974, he studied at the University of Franche-Comté
University of Franche-Comté
The University of Franche-Comté is a French university in the Academy of Besançon with five campuses: Besançon , Belfort , Montbéliard , Vesoul , and Lons-le-Saunier ....

 and in 1974–1975, at the University of Nice, France.

Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Amano held different posts in the foreign ministry such as the Director of the Science Division and Director of the Nuclear Energy Division in 1993. As a member of the Diplomatic service
Diplomatic service
Diplomatic service is the body of diplomats and foreign policy officers maintained by the government of a country to communicate with the governments of other countries. Diplomatic personnel enjoy diplomatic immunity when they are accredited to other countries...

, he was posted in the Embassies of Japan in Vientiane
-Geography:Vientiane is situated on a bend of the Mekong river, which forms the border with Thailand at this point.-Climate:Vientiane features a tropical wet and dry climate with a distinct monsoon season and a dry season. Vientiane’s dry season spans from November through March. April marks the...

, Washington
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 and Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

, in the Delegation of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament
Conference on Disarmament
Conference on Disarmament is a forum established by the international community to negotiate multilateral arms control and disarmament agreements...

 in Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

 and was Consul General of Japan in Marseille
Marseille , known in antiquity as Massalia , is the second largest city in France, after Paris, with a population of 852,395 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Marseille extends beyond the city limits with a population of over 1,420,000 on an area of...


In August 2002, he was appointed Director-General for Arms Control and Scientific Affairs, and in August 2004, he was appointed Director-General of the Disarmament, Nonproliferation and Science Department. In these positions, he was involved in international negotiations such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, commonly known as the Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT, is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to...

 extension, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, the Biological Weapons Convention
Biological Weapons Convention
The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction was the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning the...

 verification protocol, amendment of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
The United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons , concluded at Geneva on October 10, 1980 and entered into force in December 1983, seeks to prohibit or restrict the use of certain conventional weapons which are considered excessively injurious or whose effects are indiscriminate.The...

 and the International Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation
International Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation
The 'Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation ', was established November 25, 2002 as an arrangement to prevent the proliferation of ballistic missiles....

. He represented Japan as a governmental expert on the UN Panel on Missiles in April 2001 and in the UN Expert Group on Disarmament and Nonproliferation Education in July 2001.

International Atomic Energy Agency

In 2005, Amano served as the ambassador from Japan to the IAEA. From September 2005 to September 2006, Amano served as the Chairman of the IAEA Board of Governors. During this time, the IAEA and its Director General Mohamed ElBaradei received the Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.-Background:According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who...

. Amano represented the IAEA as the chairman at the Nobel Prize award ceremony held in December 2005.

In September 2008, the Japanese government
Government of Japan
The government of Japan is a constitutional monarchy where the power of the Emperor is very limited. As a ceremonial figurehead, he is defined by the 1947 constitution as "the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people". Power is held chiefly by the Prime Minister of Japan and other elected...

 announced that it had nominated Yukiya Amano to be the next Director General of the IAEA. On 2 July 2009, he was elected by the Board of Governors as Director General for the IAEA in the sixth round of voting. He defeated South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

n representative Abdul Samad Minty, his primary rival. On 3 July 2009 all 145 IAEA member states formally appointed Yukiya Amano "by acclamation".

On 1 December 2009, Amano began his first term as Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

In November 2010, British newspaper The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

 reported on a U.S. diplomatic cable originating a year earlier in Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 and supplied to the newspaper by WikiLeaks
WikiLeaks is an international self-described not-for-profit organisation that publishes submissions of private, secret, and classified media from anonymous news sources, news leaks, and whistleblowers. Its website, launched in 2006 under The Sunshine Press organisation, claimed a database of more...

, detailing a meeting between Amano and an American ambassador
An ambassador is the highest ranking diplomat who represents a nation and is usually accredited to a foreign sovereign or government, or to an international organization....

. The author of the cable summarized a statement by Amano in which the latter offered that he "was solidly in the U.S. court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program
Iran and weapons of mass destruction
Iran is not known to currently possess weapons of mass destruction and has signed treaties repudiating the possession of weapons of mass destruction including the Biological Weapons Convention, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty...


Views on nuclear proliferation

In an interview mid-2009 with the Austrian newspaper Die Presse
Die Presse
Die Presse is an Austrian daily newspaper based in Vienna. It was founded in 1946 by World War II resistance fighter Ernst Molden and stands in tradition of the Viennese newspapers "Die Presse" and "Neue Freie Presse" . The paper covers general news topics...

, Yukiya Amano said he was "resolute in opposing the spread of nuclear arms because I am from a country that experienced Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
During the final stages of World War II in 1945, the United States conducted two atomic bombings against the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, the first on August 6, 1945, and the second on August 9, 1945. These two events are the only use of nuclear weapons in war to date.For six months...


November 2011 IAEA Report on Iran

In an interview with Democracy Now on November 21st 2011, Seymour Hersh
Seymour Hersh
Seymour Myron Hersh is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and author based in Washington, D.C. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker magazine on military and security matters...

, precising an article he wrote for the New Yorker, three days earlier, claimed that Yukiya Amano's election to the IAEA was a political appointment, heavily backed by the US administration, and that the IAEA report on Iran's ability or desire to produce a nuclear weapon relies on no new evidence and that many experts in the IAEA, as well as in the American and Israeli intelligence community, had indicated to Hersh that they do not endorse it.

According to a U.S. cable obtained by WikiLeaks http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/10/09UNVIEVIENNA478.html#, in a meeting in September, 2009 with Glyn Davies, the American permanent representative to the IAEA, Amano "reminded Ambassador on several occasions that he would need to make concessions to the G-77 [the developing nations
Group of 77
The Group of 77 at the United Nations is a loose coalition of developing nations, designed to promote its members' collective economic interests and create an enhanced joint negotiating capacity in the United Nations. There were 77 founding members of the organization, but the organization has...

], which correctly required him to be fair-minded and independent, but that he was solidly in the U.S. court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program."

Involvement in nuclear emergency after Japanese earthquake and tsunami

After the Fukushima I nuclear accidents on 11 March 2011, Amano held a meeting with Prime Minister Naoto Kan
Naoto Kan
is a Japanese politician, and former Prime Minister of Japan. In June 2010, then-Finance Minister Kan was elected as the leader of the Democratic Party of Japan and designated Prime Minister by the Diet to succeed Yukio Hatoyama. On 26 August 2011, Kan announced his resignation...

 in Tokyo on 18 March. Amano, "who had just arrived from the agency’s headquarters ... said he would dispatch a team 'within days' to monitor radiation near the damaged plant." At the meeting, Amano said Kan "agreed on the necessity to disclose as much information as possible on the unfolding nuclear crisis in Fukushima. 'What’s important is coordination with international society and better transparency,' Mr. Amano told reporters before the meeting."


  • A Japanese View on Nuclear Disarmament, The Non-Proliferation Review, 2002
  • The Significance of the NPT Extension, Future Restraints on Arms Proliferation, 1996
  • La Non Proliferation Nucleaire en Extreme-Orient, Proliferation et Non-Proliferation Nucleaire, 1995
  • Sea Dumping of Liquid Radioactive Waste by Russia, Gaiko Jiho, 1994

External links