Hisashi Owada (Japan)


Judge Hisashi Owada, former Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, was born in 1932. After graduating from Tokyo University, Judge Owada joined the Foreign Ministry of Japan and has served in various posts in the foreign service of Japan. Having served as private secretary to the foreign minister and then to the prime minister of Japan, and in his capacity as director-general of the Treaties Bureau (principal legal advisor), deputy minister, and vice-minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Judge Owada has been instrumental in the formulation of the foreign policy of Japan.

Judge Owada has also participated in numerous diplomatic conferences and negotiations, both bilateral and multilateral, as Japan’s representative. He was permanent representative of Japan to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) from 1988 to 1989 and Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1994 to 1998. During his tenure of office at the United Nations, he was actively engaged in the promotion of a new strategy for development in the “Post-Cold War Era” and was the chief architect of the second Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD II) in October 1998.

Judge Owada has also been active in the academic world. He taught at Tokyo University for more than 25 years and at Harvard Law School from 1979 to 81, in 1987 and in 1989. During his ambassadorship at the United Nations, he was concurrently an adjunct professor of International Law at Columbia Law School and the Inge Rennert Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at New York University Law School. He is also an associate member of the Institute of International Law (Associè de l’Institut de Droit International). He is the author of numerous books and articles on international legal, economic and political issues, including Japanese Practice in the Field of International Law (1984), From Involvement to Engagement — New Foreign Policy Directions of Japan (1994) and Diplomacy (1996).