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Wednesday 11 February 2004
Japanese Foreign Diplomacy: The Aftermath of the War in Iraq


Contributors: Mr Yoshiji Nogami, Rear Admiral Richard Cobbold (chair) 

Iraq has posed multiple challenges for Japan’s foreign policy. In November 2003, two Japanese diplomats were tragically killed in the north of the country and in January 2004, an unprecedented military mission was sent to southern Iraq. Mr Yoshiji Nogami, former Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs and a specialist on the Middle East, will assess the situation in Iraq against the backdrop of Japan’s foreign policy concerns in the region and in the wider international community.

‘The gap between Japan and the US sixty years ago was tremendous, wider than the gap between Iraq and the US or Iraq and Japan today. And yet Japan managed to grow – the key to this was international co-operation.’ - Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, January 2004

The contributors: 

Yoshiji Nogami is Senior Visiting Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs and was Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs (1999-2002). After graduating from the University of Tokyo in 1969, Mr. Nogami joined the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he served as deputy director general of the Middle Eastern and African Affairs (1991-93), deputy director general of the Foreign Policy Bureau (1993-94), Consul General of Japan to Hong Kong (1994-96), and Ambassador of Japan to the OECD (1997-99). He was co-chairperson of the multinational Middle East peace negotiations in 1992-94.

Rear Admiral Richard Cobbold CB FRAeS (chair) is Director of RUSI (Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies). He has been a specialist adviser to the House of Commons Defence Committee since 1997. Richard Cobbold served in the Royal Navy for 33 years, specialising as a seaman officer and then as a helicopter observer. Later in his career he commanded the frigates HMS MOHAWK and HMS BRAZEN, and was Captain of the 2nd Frigate Squadron in HMS BRILLIANT. He was a member of the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1984 and his appointments in the Ministry of Defence included Director of Defence Concepts in 1987, looking ahead 25 years. He retired from the Royal Navy in March 1994. He has written numerous articles for RUSI and other publications, and contributes widely to the media on national and international defence and security issues.  

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