Tuesday, November 19, 2013, 18:30 - 20:00
British Ambassador to Japan
As British Ambassador to Japan since December 2012, Tim Hitchens has presided over UK-Japan relations through a period of dramatic change. Shinzo Abe came to power that same month and launched an economic recovery program that seems to be putting the world's third-biggest economy on a new course after a decade and a half of stagnation and deflation. Ambassador Hitchens' first year has also been punctuated by the problems at the Fukushima nuclear plant, which continue to mount more than two and a half years after the March 2011 catastrophe.
Born in 1962 and educated at Christ's College, Cambridge, Mr. Hitchens joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1983. His varied career has taken him from Tokyo to Paris, Islamabad and back to Japan again. Fluent in French and Japanese, he served as Second Secretary in the British Embassy in Tokyo between 1985 and 1989 and was Minister at the Paris embassy from 2005 to 2008.
Highlights from the ambassador's thirty-year Foreign Office career include being involved in the negotiations for the 1992 Maastricht Treaty on European Union while serving as Private Secretary to the Europe Minister; dealing with issues related to Pakistan's nuclear program and the Kashmir dispute when in Islamabad in the mid-1990s; and a four-year stint in Buckingham Palace as Deputy Private Secretary to the Queen.
Come and hear his views on the UK-Japan relationship as he approaches his first anniversary as Ambassador.