Fellow, Meiji Institute for Global Affairs
New Order in the Asia-Pacific
Graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo, and joined the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. Received her MPhil in economics from Yale University in 1972. Was a minister at the embassy of Japan in the United States and deputy director-general for global environmental affairs at MITI before becoming managing director of Suntory Ltd. in September 1993. Became director-general of the Environment Agency in 2000, minister of the environment in January 2001, minister for foreign affairs in 2002, and special advisor to the prime minister (for foreign affairs). Was elected to the House of Councillors in 2005, serving two terms through 2013. During her years as a Diet member, she served as deputy chair of the General Assembly of Liberal Democratic Party members in the upper house; director and chair of the Environment Committee; director of the Budget Committee; director of the Commission on the Constitution; chair of the LDP Okinawa Promotion Committee; co-chair of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament; and board member of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders Foundation. Is a member of the Tokyo Foundation advisory committee for CSR research and a recipient of the Wilbur Cross Medal from Yale University for distinguished public service.