The Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami of 3/11 were among the most significant natural disasters in Japanese history. In the immediate aftermath of these events, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident created seemingly insurmountable challenges to the state’s ability to respond effectively to the crisis. As disaster response has transitioned to long-term recovery, Japan must not only meet the challenges of reconstruction, but repair the reputational damage incurred by its difficulties in managing these multiple crises, and deal with nuclear energy in the face of public scrutiny.
Yet despite the complexity of these issues, Japan’s international relations have been heightened by unprecedented cooperation with its allies, as foreign governments have contributed to relief efforts in Tohoku and offered technical assistance in the nuclear crisis. This event will discuss these issues in the context of Japan’s foreign relations, with distinguished guests Sir David Warren, British Ambassador to Japan, Mark J. Davidson, Minister-Counselor for Public Affairs in the U.S. Embassy, Tokyo, and Noriyuki Shikata, Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Public Affairs, Director of Global Communications in the Prime Minister’s Office of Japan.
Mark J. Davidson
Minister-Counselor for Public Affairs, United States Embassy, Tokyo, Japan
Mark Davidson has served as U.S. Embassy Tokyo’s Minister-Counselor for Public Affairs since March 2012. A career Senior Foreign Service Officer, he leads the U.S Government’s largest array of media, information, cultural, and educational programs in the East Asia-Pacific region.
Mr. Davidson has spent more than half of his career working in or on East Asia. His previous diplomatic tours in Japan include Cultural Affairs Officer in Tokyo (2002-06), Public Affairs Officer at Consulate General Sapporo (1993-96), and Deputy Director of the Tokyo American Center (1991-92). In Washington, he has been Senior Advisor in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, Public Diplomacy Desk Officer for Japan and Korea, and Special Advisor for Asian Affairs to the House of Representatives International Relations Committee and Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-IN).
Other Washington positions include Director of Global Policy, Planning, and Resources for Public Diplomacy; Director of White House and Military Liaison for Public Diplomacy; Deputy Chief of Staff to the Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs; and Director of International Information Programs for the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. Overseas, he has also served as Public Affairs Counselor in Islamabad and Asuncion, and Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer in Madrid and Caracas.
Mr. Davidson has received the State Department’s Superior Honor Award and Commendation for Exceptional Service, among other professional honors. His foreign languages are Japanese, Spanish, and French.
Born in Virginia, Mr. Davidson was raised in Rhode Island and New Jersey. He holds an A.B. (Religion) from Dartmouth College and an M.A. (Law and Diplomacy) from the Fletcher School, Tufts University. He is married with two daughters.
Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Public Affairs, Director of Global Communications in the Prime Minister’s Office of Japan
During the last eight years, Noriyuki Shikata has worked as Director of Status of U.S. Forces Agreement Division, Assistant Press Secretary/Director of the International Press Division, as well as Director of Second North America Division (economic relations with the U.S. and Canada), Director of Economic Treaties Division, International Legal Affairs Bureau of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).
He was born in Kyoto, where he graduated from the Law Department of Kyoto University in 1986. He was an AFS (American Field Service) exchange student to Diamond High School in Missouri from 1980 to 81, and is now a councilor of AFS, Japan. After entering MOFA in 1986, he graduated from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, completing its Masters in Public Policy Program in 1989. He was press officer at the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C. from 1989 to 91, and worked on U.S.-Japan economic relations from 1995 to 97. From 1999 to 2002, he was First Secretary to the Delegation of the OECD in Paris, tackling energy and environmental issues, sustainable development and regulatory reform.
He has been visiting lecturer at the Law Department of Chuo University since 2007 and International University of Japan since 2010. He is the recipient of 2011 Gold Standard Award for Political Communications, award hosted by PublicAffairsAsia recognizing excellence in the field of Asia-Pacific related public affairs and corporate communications.
Sir David Warren, KCMG
British Ambassador to Japan
David Warren joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1975, and has spent much of his career dealing with Japanese and East Asian affairs, in both Tokyo and London. Following two years’ full-time Japanese language study, he served in the British Embassy in Tokyo, as Private Secretary to the Ambassador and then Second (later First) Secretary, Economic from 1978 to 1981, and as Commercial Counsellor from 1993 to 1998, before returning to Tokyo as Ambassador in July 2008.
His other posts in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have included periods in the European Community Department, dealing with international trade policy, from 1983 to 1986; serving as head of the Political Section in the British High Commission in Nairobi, Kenya, from 1987 to 1990; two years as Deputy Head of the FCO’s Far Eastern Department from 1990 to 1991; a period on secondment to the Office of Science and Technology, dealing among other issues with UK/Japan science and technology co-operation, and two years as Head of the FCO’s China Hong Kong Department from 1998 to 2000.
In 2000, he became one of the senior management team for the government trade promotion organisation, UK Trade and Investment; and from 2004 to 2007, he was
Director, Human Resources, at the FCO, and a member of the FCO Board of Management.
He was created a KCMG (Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George) in the 2012 New Year Honours.
David was born in 1952, and educated at Epsom College and Exeter College, Oxford, where he read English Literature. He is married to Pamela, who is a teacher.