Dr. Hosoi, JICA's Senior Advisor for Natural Resources, Received the Reiwa 5 Foreign Minister's Award


Dr. Yoshitaka Hosoi, JICA’s Senior Advisor for Natural Resources, was awarded the Reiwa 5 Foreign Minister's Commendation.

The Foreign Minister's Commendation honors individuals and organizations that have played an active role in various fields within international relations and have made significant contributions to the promotion of friendly relations between Japan and other countries. It has been implemented since 1984, and this year, 187 individuals and 63 organizations active in Japan and overseas were selected.

Dr. Hosoi took a two-year leave of absence from university to engage in copper deposit exploration and mine development in the African Congo (formerly Zaire), and, after graduating, he joined the Metal Mining Agency of Japan (currently the Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security: JOGMEC), serving as the Resident Representative of the organization’s Manila Office and an expert at the international organization Secretariat of the Pacific Community (formerly South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission: SOPAC).

Since 2011, he has been contributing to the development of mining in developing countries as a Senior Advisor of international cooperation in the field of natural resources at JICA, further utilizing his experience in mining development in developing countries. In particular, he has been active in the long-term training program known as the "Human Resource Development Program in the Mining Sector" (KIZUNA Program*), which started in 2014, from its beginning to the present, and has made efforts to develop human resources and strengthen networks in resource-rich countries, keeping in mind Japan’s strategy for securing resources. To date, a total of 178 trainees from 28 countries have been enrolled in the program, and some of the trainees who have returned to their home countries have taken on important positions such as Director General of the Bureau of Mines, Ministry of Mines and Strategic Resources of Madagascar.

*A long-term training program for government officials and researchers in countries with mining potential, which will result in enrollees earning a university degree. JICA conducts policy and practical training of program enrollees, with the aim of enhancing the capacity for mining development and strengthening networks with Japanese stakeholders. The total number of students is expected to reach 200 by the October 2023 intake.

Dr. Hosoi has also made various contributions to resource policy and academia in developing countries. For example, he worked to improve policy-making functions in Mongolia’s natural resources sector under the "Project for Capacity Building on the Natural Resource and Mining Sector in Mongolia" (2013-2021), and contributed to the strengthening of think-tank functions for the government by organizing and analyzing data objectively and quantitatively in order not to be swayed by changes in admission. The results of this work have been published as an English-language book—Economic Dependence of Mongolia on Minerals (Springer Nature).

In addition, for the science and technology cooperation project called “The Project for Visualization of Impact of Chronic/Latent Chemical Hazard and Geo-Ecological Remediation” (2015-2022), Dr. Hosoi has led discussions since the time of project formation and achieved high success from the academic perspective. He has also published Mining and Development (Lambert Academic Publishing), academically analyzing the impact of mining development on the nation’s economy and environment and providing the guidance for national mining development policy.

Senior Advisor Hosoi giving a lecture during a short-term summer program.

On-site at a gold mine in Kazakhstan. (Hosoi is center)

On-site at the El Corazon gold mine in Ecuador. (Hosoi is center)

Open pit mine site in Namibia, Africa. (Hosoi is center)

Senior Advisor Hosoi (left) and Foreign Minister Hayashi at the award ceremony.

Furthermore, he has served as a visiting lecturer at Akita University, Hokkaido University, and Kyushu University, and has been widely passing on his experience to the next generation. While the number of books in Japanese in the mining field for the general public is limited, Dr. Hosoi's books Mineral Resources Frontier: Extending from the land to the seabed and A Growing Resource Continent: Dig up Africa (The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, Ltd.) are becoming a valuable source of information for increasing interest in mining and Africa.

This award recognizes Dr. Hosoi's long-standing contribution to the enhancement of Japan’s international presence in the field of mineral resources.

The award ceremony was held in Tokyo on August 22, and Dr. Hosoi expressed his joy and gratitude, saying, "The recognition of activities in the mining field, which is difficult for the general public to learn about, is good news and encouragement for all people in the resource field. We will continue to contribute to the global mining field with a focus on human resource development."

With the ability to secure scarce mineral resources becoming increasingly importance to the achievement of a carbon neutral society, JICA aims to realize environmentally friendly, efficient, and transparent mineral resource development management in developing countries in order to realize a stable supply of resources globally. This will contribute to the economic security of both Japan and the world by preventing monopolization of the supply chain and the mineral resources market by individual countries and companies. JICA will continue to support the development of mineral resources in developing countries in collaboration with universities and companies in Japan.

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