Interview with the Director of the Maison du Japon

Tell us about your career and your arrival at the Cité internationale.

I’m a professor at Chuo University in Tokyo. I teach and research international law.

What do you think makes the Cité internationale a unique campus in the world?

The Cité internationale is a common space where young students and researchers live together in the spirit of respecting human dignity and cultural diversity.

How does living in your house allow residents to have a different outlook on the world and how is it a springboard for their futures?

 There are residents from all different nationalities in our house. There are actually more foreign residents than Japanese. Their fields of study are also very diverse. It is a place where they can communicate critically and liberally but still respect others from different cultures. Together these elements allow the residents to have a different outlook on life and on themselves and I believe that it serves as a springboard for their futures. I hope that the experience of living together in our house cultivates transnational fraternity.

If you had to sum up the Cité internationale in one word, what would it be and why?

The City is a source. A source where young people communicate, meet different cultures, share the idea of living in global peace, before flourishing into a future.

Junichi IHARA, Japanese Ambassador in France and President of the Foundation

Junichi IHARA has been the Japanese Ambassador to France since 2019. With a degree from the faculty of law from the University of Kyoto, he entered into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the same year. In 1995, he became the Director of the cabinet of the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, then director of South-East Asia and then Director of the WTO division. In 2002, he directed the financial affairs department in the Ministerial Secretariat and became the General Manager as a Deputy of the Inspectorate. A Minister at the Japanese Embassy in the United States in 2004, in 2006 he was appointed as Deputy Director General of Asia and Oceania, then Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles in 2008. He was the Director General for North American affairs then Director General of Asia and Oceania, in 2015 Junichi IHARA was appointed as Ambassador of the permanent mission of Japan for international organisations in Geneva.