I am Makoto Miyasako, and I work in Human Resources at the OECD. It has now been six years since I joined the organisation, which makes it the longest period I have spent in one place (school or work) since I was 20 years old. What I appreciate and enjoy most about working here is the capacity of the organisation to allow me continuously to learn and try out new things.
I joined the OECD in 2007 and am currently managing a team in charge of Talent Management and Human Capital strategies. Prior to the OECD, I worked for UN agencies in New York and Copenhagen. I have an MBA from Wharton School where the majority of my classmates went into investment banking to make millions of dollars (I graduated pre-crisis). But I opted to work for international organisations, more specifically in the area of corporate management. There are always highs and lows in the workplace, but it is such a fascinating environment. I am surrounded by colleagues from different backgrounds, with differing viewpoints, all trying to achieve something positive together, even if it is not as easy to measure as a quarterly profit!
Hi, my name is Kazuki Motohashi. Japan is celebrating its 50th anniversary as a member country, but I am perhaps one of the organisation’s youngest and newest staffers. I started working in the Environment Directorate of the OECD as a trainee in January 2014. I am involved in policy issues related to water where there is a lively discussion going on about water resource management, financing and public-private partnerships in water, and more. It is an issue which concerns everyone. I applied to the OECD from Japan because I felt I could contribute to better policies for all countries by working with people from diverse backgrounds to come up with good ideas, and solutions that work.
At the University of Tokyo I studied public policy, especially environmental and energy policy, and the OECD has been a great experience, not to mention a great opportunity for my future career.
My name is Yumiko Murakami and I joined the Tokyo Centre as head in 2013. I am a working mum, with three children. Before joining the OECD I spent 18 years in finance as an investment banker in London, New York and Tokyo. Upon finishing graduate school, before entering the business world, I worked in Cambodia as part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Operation. I am excited to be back in the public sector now and hope to make a difference by applying what I have learned as a business person to the current role.
I realise I could not have come to the OECD at a more exciting moment, with Japan celebrating its 50th anniversary of OECD membership amid a new mood of optimism in the country that many of us have not felt for a long time. More than ever, we are keen to show off the positives of this country, while keeping our feet on the ground and addressing the challenges that lie ahead. At the same time, I am proud to be part of the OECD team working at the interface between the organisation and its second largest member country.
The Tokyo Centre I manage is actively engaged in dialogue with a wide range of stakeholders in Japan and the rest of Asia, in fields that span the entire OECD policy spectrum. The small and effective staff at the Tokyo Centre consists of both new members, who recently joined from the private sector, and old timers, who have been with the OECD for almost two decades. The OECD Tokyo Centre was established on 2 July 1973, nine years after Japan joined the OECD in 1964. Initially, the Tokyo Centre’s activities were focused on marketing of OECD’s publications. Today, we play a critical role as part of the Public Affairs and Communications Directorate in facilitating strategic discussions between the OECD’s headquarters in Paris and Japan, as well as other countries in Asia, particularly Southeast Asia. We promote the OECD’s value added, its role, solidarity in face of the difficult economic, social and environmental challenges that Japan confronts, and determination to work with all member countries to advance better policies for better lives.
We engage with parliamentarians, administrative officials and elected representatives, as well as business and labour leaders. The feedback is impressive, the energy positive. This is particularly the case when we talk to students of all ages, young people with a global outlook who are eager to help build a new, vibrant, open Japan. In honour of Japan’s 50th anniversary at the OECD, the Tokyo Centre has planned many special events for 2014, including the launch of the OECD Student Ambassador Programme and a parliamentarian league called “Friends of OECD”. The Tokyo Centre has been an integral part of the planning and execution of this year’s OECD Forum and Ministerial Council Meeting. Given the importance of Asia for the OECD and Japan, the Tokyo Centre will continue to forge relationships and make new connections with all key players in the regions for our OECD members
©OECD Observer No 298, Q1 2014