New head of UNITAR Hiroshima Office meets with Hiroshima governor, confirms ties between UNITAR and Hiroshima Prefecture

by Daigo Kanezashi, Staff Writer

Mihoko Kumamoto, 44, the new head of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Hiroshima Office, located in Naka Ward, met with Hiroshima Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki at his prefectural government office on January 21. The two confirmed that they will strengthen their shared efforts to train government officials from developing nations and nurture human resources in the field of peace building.

“The importance of Hiroshima to promoting peace is something I feel deeply,” Ms. Kumamoto said. “For UNITAR, Hiroshima is a special location.” She went on to stress her desire to strengthen the relationship between UNITAR and Hiroshima Prefecture.

This is the first time for Ms. Kumamoto to return to Hiroshima since she visited the city with her family as a child in elementary school. She shared her impressions of Hiroshima with the governor, saying that the city enjoys a fine balance of prosperous urban life while blessed with the mountains and the sea.

Mr. Yuzaki said, “The former heads of the UNITAR Hiroshima Office have actively promoted ties with Hiroshima Prefecture and the City of Hiroshima. I hope we can continue this strong relationship.”

Ms. Kumamoto, the first Japanese head of the UNITAR Hiroshima Office, was born in the city of Dazaifu, Fukuoka Prefecture. Prior to assuming office on January 20, she served as a senior advisor to the Indonesia Office of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

After the meeting, Ms. Kumamoto said she would like to organize some events, such as picture exhibitions, to introduce the activities of UNITAR to citizens. She will meet with Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui on January 22.

(Originally published on January 22, 2014)