Yasushi Akashi (明石 康 Akashi Yasushi, born January 19, 1931 in Hinai, Akita Prefecture) is a senior Japanese diplomat and United Nations administrator.

Yasushi Akashi
明石 康
Yasushi Akashi cropped 2 Yasushi Akashi 20161219.jpg
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator
In office
Preceded byPeter Hansen
Succeeded bySérgio Vieira de Mello
Personal details
Born (1931-01-19) January 19, 1931 (age 89)
Hinai, Akita, Japan
Alma materUniversity of Tokyo
University of Virginia, (MA)


Akashi addressed the Commemorative Ceremony of the 60th Anniversary of Japan's Accession to the United Nations (at the United Nations University on December 19, 2016)

Akashi graduated with Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Tokyo in 1954, studied as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Virginia, and later at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.[1] As a politically appointed International Civil Servant at the Headquarters of the United Nations Secretariat in New York City, he held positions as Under-Secretary-General of Public Information, Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs and Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.

Among many other additional assignments, he was the Secretary-General's Personal Representative for the war in the former Yugoslavia. He also supervised the Cambodian peace negotiations and subsequent elections in 1993. Despite his successes there, he was strongly criticized for his subsequent role in the Balkans, particularly for failing to enforce the safety of civilians in a number of safe zones,[2] such as Goražde,[3] and his inability to prevent the genocide in Srebrenica.[4]

Akashi was expected to visit Sri Lanka in the last week of September 2006 to help facilitate negotiations between the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan government.[5] In the past, Akashi has met with JVP official Somawansa Amarasinghe.[6]

He ran for Governor of Tokyo in the election of 1999 with the support of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito coalition, but came in fourth place.[7]



  1. ^ Yasushi Akashi United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Biography
  2. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/1999/nov/17/features11
  3. ^ https://www.amazon.com/Safe-Area-Gorazde-Eastern-1992-1995/dp/1560974702/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1458050376&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=safe+zone+gorazde
  4. ^ Bianca Jagger: The Betrayal of Srebrenica. Archived 2008-07-13 at the Wayback Machine The European, 25 September-1 October 1995
  5. ^ Lanka warfront largely quiet as talks hopes rise Gulf Times
  6. ^ JVP leader & Yasushi Akashi meet in Japan People's Liberation Front
  7. ^ Kristof, Nicholas (12 April 1999). "Nationalist Critical of U.S. Air Base Is Elected Governor of Tokyo". New York Times. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  8. ^ "Structure of the Foundation". Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
Positions in intergovernmental organisations
Preceded by
Peter Hansen ( )
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and
Emergency Relief Coordinator

Succeeded by
Sérgio Vieira de Mello ( )