Graduate School of Agriculture, The University of Tokyo, Master 1976, Agrobiology
Graduate School of Agriculture, The University of Tokyo, PhD 1980, Agrobiology
Lecturer, Faculty of Science, Tokyo Metropolitan University, 1977–1985; Associate Professor, Faculty of Agriculture, The University of Tokyo, 1985–1995; Professor, Asian Natural Environmental Science Center, The University of Tokyo, 1995–1997; Professor, Department of Ecosystem Studies, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 1997–present; Director, Asian Natural Environmental Science Center, The University of Tokyo, 2004–2005; Special Adviser to the President, 2005–2008; Deputy Executive Director, Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science (IR3S), the University of Tokyo, 2005–present; Vice President for International Relations, Executive Representative for the University of Tokyo Beijing Office, 2007–2008; Vice-Rector, United Nations University, 2008–present; Director, United Nations University Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP), 2009–2013; Visiting Professor, United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies, 2009–present; Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, 2013–present
Educated and trained as a geographer and landscape ecologist at the University of Tokyo, his research focuses on creating eco-friendly environments for a harmonious coexistence of man and nature, both on local and global scales. He is keenly interested in the restoration of ecosystem and effective utilization of environmental resources in Japan. Revitalization of traditional rural landscapes locally called Satoyama is one of his major concerns.
He also conducts extensive field research on combating land degradation and desertification in Australia, Zambia, China and Mongolia, on sustainable bioresources management system in Thailand and Indonesia, and landscape planning in the Asian mega-cities in Thailand and the Philippines. He has also initiated the research project on reconstruction of historic gardens and historic landscape planning in Italy. His most recent research interest lies in the integration of future scenarios for the three societies which constitute a solid base for global sustainability: low carbon society; resource-circulating society; and the society coexisting harmoniously with nature.