Japan to succeed Japan at the Deputy Direccion of the IMF.
IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, has propposed the appointment of Kenji Okamura as Deputy Managing Director of the Fund.
Okamura, who currently serves the Government of Japan as Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on International Economic Policies, has a distinguished background and brings his wealth of experience in international economics and finance to the Fund.
He will succeed in this responsibility the also Japanese Mitsuhiro Furusawa. IMF announced some days ago that Furusawa intends to conclude his service as Deputy Managing Director on November 30, 2021. He has been a member of the Fund’s management team since March 2015.
A leading role in the global efforts to overcome COVID-19 crisis
“Mr. Okamura served as Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs from 2020-21, Japan’s highest civil servant position in international finance. In this position, he oversaw all the international finance work of the Ministry and participated in the IMFC, G7, G20, ASEAN + 3, and other fora, representing Japan as the Finance Minister’s Deputy. He has spent more than a decade as one of the key policymakers in Japan on issues of international economic policy.
“Mr. Okamura played an important role in the successful conclusion of the Quota and Voice Reforms at the IMF in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis. More recently, he was one of the leading figures in the global efforts to address the COVID-19 crisis, including the historic $650Bn SDR allocation. He has also been instrumental in the ongoing efforts to strengthen the Fund’s support for its low-income countries through increases in the PRGT and the CCRT resources. His extensive experience in international fora also includes his work at the OECD as Vice Chair of the Corporate Governance Committee, and at the World Bank as IDA Deputy for the successful IDA18 replenishment.
“Since joining Japan’s Ministry of Finance in 1985, Mr. Okamura has held several high-level positions, including Director-General of the International Bureau from 2019-20 and Senior Deputy Director-General of the International Bureau from 2017-19. He also served as Deputy Director-General of the International Bureau from 2015-17 and as Deputy Commissioner of Japan’s Financial Services Agency from 2013-15.
“Mr. Okamura’s experiences have also included a secondment at the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department from 1993-96. He received a Bachelor of Law from the University of Tokyo, and a Master of Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University,” Georgieva underscored
Good bye to Furusawa san
“Furusawa-san has been a skillful leader, an excellent communicator, and most important, a tremendous team player. His exemplary diplomatic skills and always thoughtful interactions have commanded respect and ensured excellent relations with member countries. We will miss him greatly,” said IMF Managing Director.
In his capacity as Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Furusawa led the Fund’s work on reforms of quota and the Fund finances, new rounds of New Arrangements to Borrow and bilateral borrowing agreements, internal and external audit matters, and concessional financing reforms, as well as serving as the chair of the Investment Oversight Committee. He was a key player in the Fund’s work on the historic $650Bn SDR Allocation and, most recently on voluntarily channeling SDRs to countries most in need.
Mr. Furusawa also spearheaded fundraising efforts for the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust.
He oversaw the IMF engagement with a large number of member countries, regional blocks, and currency unions, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC), and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). His leadership and strategic foresight were crucial in bringing several complex program cases to a successful completion.
And Georgieva added: “Furusawa-san has always put service to the membership first, including in his interactions with the IMF’s Executive Board. He is well known for making sure that the views of all member countries are given due attention. One cannot praise him enough for his dedication to the core values of the Fund and his great respect for Fund staff and their work.”
Prior to coming to the Fund, Mr. Furusawa had a long and distinguished career in public service. He held several senior positions in Japan’s Ministry of Finance. He served as Special Advisor to Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Special Advisor to the Minister of Finance. Among his many ministry postings, he served as Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs (2013-2014) and Director-General of the Financial Bureau (2012-2013). Mr. Furusawa also served as Executive Director for
Japan at the Fund from 2010 to 2012, during which he provided exceptional support to put together the 2012 Annual Meetings in Tokyo.
A 1979 graduate of the University of Tokyo with an LL.B. degree, Mr. Furusawa also graduated in 1983 from the École Nationale d’Administration in Paris.