Director General for African Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Date of Birth: 1953
In June, Sumio Kusaka led a delegation to New Delhi for the second India-Japan Dialogue on Africa. With his counterpart Gurjit Singh, Additional Secretary at India’s Ministry of External Affairs, he compared experiences of their countries’ African strategies. India extended a US$5 billion credit line to Africa at the India-Africa Forum in June, while Japan, despite its disaster-afflicted economy, is determined to fulfil its promise to double African aid by 2012.
Born in 1953, Kusaka joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after taking a bachelor’s degree in law from Chuo University in 1978. MOFA sent him for further study in the United States, where he earned a bachelor’s in economics from Swarthmore College in 1981.
Kusaka has served in a variety of MOFA divisions, including International Economic Affairs and Developing Economies. He was the Senior Coordinator of Japan’s delegation to the G-7 in 1994-95 and Director of APEC Affairs in 1995-97.
From 2004 to 2006, he was seconded to the Ministry of Finance, where he worked in its International Bureau. He returned to MOFA as Deputy Director-General of the Economic Affairs Bureau from 2006 to 2008, where he led bilateral discussions at the Japan-European Union Regulatory Reform Dialogue and negotiated the economic partnership agreements signed with Australia and India.
As a diplomat, his overseas postings have included Australia, Canada, Tanzania, the United States and, most recently, Britain. He left London in late 2010 to take up his current post, just as the post-election crisis in Cote d’Ivoire erupted.