The Rolex Awards for Enterprise
Saburo Okita is chairman of the Japanese Institute for Domestic and International Policy Studies and former Japanese minister for Foreign Affairs. He was one of the architects of Japan's economic development after World War II and conceived the theoretical framework for the Income-Doubling Plan that set off the economic phenomenon of post-war Japan. His strong interest in environmental matters led to his being appointed chairman of WWF Japan.
Okita started his career as an electrical engineer, graduated from Tokyo University in 1937 and entered government service. His keen interest in economic and social issues meant that after World War II he was among the few who were qualified to take on the enormous responsibility of reshaping Japan's future.
He was appointed director-general of the Planning Bureau of the Economic Planning Agency in 1956, and took a leading part in promoting Japan's economic growth. After taking a doctorate in economies from Nagoya University in 1962, he joined the Japan Economic Research Centre where he served as president and chairman. He was also president of the Overseas Economic Co-operation Fund from 1973 to 1977.
Okita became minister of Foreign Affairs in 1979 and was named government representative for external economic relations the following year.
He has been involved in a number of international activities and was a member of the United Nations Committee for Development Planning (1965-1980), the World Bank’s Commission on International Development (1968-1969) and the World Commission on Environment and Development (1983-1987). He was chairman of the governing board of the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economic Research in Helsinki.
Dr Okita died in 1993.
Published in 1990