Emory Report

November 2, 1998

 Volume 51, No. 10

International Affairs

First Halle fellow, Yukio Okamoto, comes to Emory in February

Prominent Japanese business and public policy consultant Yukio Okamoto has been selected by the Halle Institute for Global Learning as its first Distinguished Fellow. Okamoto will be in residence Feb. 1-8, 1999.

During his visit Okamoto will be a guest lecturer in selected courses and public forums, a participant in faculty and student discussions and workshops, and a special guest at various informational meetings and interviews with Atlanta business, public policy and media representatives. "We are very pleased to welcome Mr. Okamoto, a widely respected international figure in both business and government, as the first Halle Fellow," said Marion Creekmore, vice provost for international affairs and director of the Halle Institute. "His broad experience and insightful observations on Japanese and regional security, and economic policies and conditions, should spark lively debate and bring new levels of understanding about Japanese affairs to the Emory community."

Fluent in English and well-versed in academic and policy debates, Okamoto is well-known in Japan and among U.S. foreign policy experts as an informed, independent observer who is equally comfortable behind the scenes or speaking before reporters and editors of such media outlets as CNN, National Public Radio and The Wall Street Journal as well as leading Japanese newspapers and magazines.

A high-ranking official with the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs for more than two decades, Okamoto was named at an early age director of the North American division, with day-to-day responsibility for managing relations with the United States. Earlier in his diplomatic career he served as first secretary for the Japanese Embassy in Egypt, political counselor with the Japanese Embassy in the United States and director of the National Security Affairs division.

In 1991 Okamoto took a most unusual career step for a Japanese government official: he left government service-while maintaining good relations with the foreign ministry and prime minister's office-and started his own consulting firm. Today, Tokyo-based Okamoto Associates focuses on security, trade and economic issues and counts among its clients some of Japan's best-known corporations and international companies doing business in Japan.

From 1996 until earlier this year Okamoto served as special advisor for Okinawan affairs to the Japanese prime minister, a position requiring sensitive diplomatic skills in light of conflicting views about the continued U.S. military presence in Okinawa. Okamoto currently serves in another governmental advisory role as special assistant to the minister of science and technology.

The Halle Fellows program is one of several key internationalization initiatives made possible at Emory by the one-year-old Halle Institute, created last fall by a gift to the University from Claus Halle, a retired Coca-Cola Company executive, along with his wife, Marianne.

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