We decided to do a little background research on the life and career of Japan’s Ambassador to the United States, Ichiro FUJISAKI. You might be interested to see what we found. Ambassador Fujisaki has certainly traveled an interesting and distinguished path to the honored role of “taishi”, or ambassador.
Fujisaki-taishi was first appointed Ambassador to the United States in June of 2008. But this is not his first time living in America. He attended junior high school in the early 1960s in Seattle, Washington, where his father--also a diplomat--was assigned. Fujisaki-taishi returned in 1970 to study at Brown and Stanford Universities. After beginning his own career in diplomacy, he returned to serve in the Japanese Embassy in the United States in 1995.
“[I]mportant as it may be, ‘inside the beltway’ is only one part of this great country,” says Ambassador Fujisaki. For that reason, he has made frequent trips outside of Washington, D.C. As a lecturer, Fujisaki-taishi has appeared at Harvard, Columbia, Georgetown, SAIS, Stanford, Yale, and Brigham Young Universities. His official duties have also taken him all over the United States, including San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, Montana, Detroit, New York, and back to Seattle.
Fujisaki-taishi has also spent time overseas. As a diplomat, he has served in Jakarta, Paris, Kiev, and London. Prior to his current post, he served as the Japanese Ambassador to the UN and to the WTO in Geneva, Switzerland. While there, he served as the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. In addition, he has worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo--holding the title of Deputy Foreign Minister, among others. He has also served as a Research Associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London and as a lecturer of International Relations at Sophia University in Tokyo.
Yoriko Fujisaki, Ambassador Fujisaki’s wife, attended kindergarten at Ben W. Murch Elementary School in Washington, DC. Yoriko is a skilled physical therapist and has practiced professionally in the past. Ambassador and Mrs. Fujisaki have two daughters, Mari and Emi. Both daughters attended high school at Stone Ridge High School in Bethesda, Maryland. And both daughters now work as journalists in Japan.
In their free time, Fujisaki-taishi and his wife enjoy opera, concerts, movies, and, of course, travel. The Fujisakis spent their recent summer vacation in Japan, where they toured several of their home country’s famous sites.
What an interesting person the Ambassador is! We in the United States are honored that Japan has sent to us an ambassador with such a storied and exemplary life and career.