Kōichirō Matsuura

  (Redirected from Koichiro Matsuura)

Kōichirō Matsuura (松浦 晃一郎, Matsūra Kōichirō, born 29 September 1937 in Yamaguchi Prefecture) is a Japanese diplomat. He is the former Director-General of UNESCO. He was first elected in 1999 to a six-year term and reelected on 12 October 2005 for four years, following a reform instituted by the 29th session of the General Conference. In November 2009, he was replaced by Irina Bokova.

Kōichirō Matsuura
Koichiro Matsuura (UNESCO) (2)- presidenciagovar- 29MAR07.jpg
Born (1937-09-29) September 29, 1937 (age 82)
WebsiteUN profile
Koichiro Matsuura signature 2005.jpg

He studied law at the University of Tokyo and economics at Haverford College (Pennsylvania, USA) and began his diplomatic career in 1959. Posts held by Mr Matsuura include those of Director-General of the Economic Co-operation Bureau of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1988); Director-General of the North American Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1990); and Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs (1992–1994). He was Japan’s Ambassador to France from 1994 to 1999. After one year as the Chairperson of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, he became UNESCO’s ninth Director-General on 12 November 1999.


  • 1999–2009: UNESCO Director-General (elected to a six-year term on 15 November 1999; re-elected in 2005)
  • 1998–1999: Chairperson, World Heritage Committee of UNESCO
  • 1994–1999: Ambassador of Japan to France and concurrently to Andorra and Djibouti
  • 1992–1994: Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs (Sherpa for Japan at the G-7 Summit)
  • 1990–1992: Director-General, North American Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • 1988–1990: Director-General, Economic Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • 1985–1988: Consul General of Japan in Hong Kong
  • 1982–1985: Successively Director of the General Affairs Division and Deputy Director-General of the Foreign Minister’s Office
  • 1980–1982: Director of the Aid Policy Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • 1977–1980: Counsellor of the Embassy of Japan, United States of America
  • 1975–1977: Director of the Development Cooperation Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • 1974–1975: Director of the First North American Division (Political Affairs), Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • 1972–1974: Assumed various posts at the central administration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • 1968–1972: Second Secretary, then First Secretary of the Japanese Delegation to the OECD, Paris
  • 1963–1968: Assumed various posts at the central administration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • 1961–1963: Third Secretary of the Embassy of Japan, Ghana; also accredited to other countries in West Africa


  • 1959–1961: Faculty of Economics, Haverford College, USA
  • 1956–1959: Faculty of Law, University of Tokyo
  • 1997: Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa), Jean Moulin University Lyon III.
  • 2006: Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa), University of Santo Tomas, Philippines
  • 2008: Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa), Kyung Hee University, Republic of Korea


  • 2004: Responding to the Challenges of the 21st Century (in English & French)
  • 2003: Building the New UNESCO (in English & French)
  • 2002: A year of Transition (in English & French)
  • 1998: Japanese Diplomacy at the Dawn of the 21st Century (in French)
  • 1995: Development & Perspectives of the Relations between Japan and France (in French)
  • 1994: The G-7 Summit: Its History and Perspectives (in Japanese)
  • 1992: History of Japan-United States Relations (in Japanese)
  • 1990: In the Forefront of Economic Cooperation Diplomacy (in Japanese)


External linksEdit

Government offices
Preceded by
Federico Mayor Zaragoza
Director-General of UNESCO
1999 – 2009
Succeeded by
Irina Bokova