Congratulations to Dr Kunio Mikuriya!

Last month the INCU President, Professor David Widdowson, on behalf of INCU, congratulated Dr Kunio Mikuriya on his re-election to the position of WCO Secretary General.

Dr Kunio Mikuriya has been a supporter of the PICARD Programme, the INCU and the World Customs Journal from the start, as can be seen from the then Deputy Secretary General’s Address at the 2nd PICARD Conference in March 2007, where Dr Mikuriya launched the World Customs Journal (WCJ). In his speech, which was subsequently published as Foreword in Vol.1 No.2 issue of the WCJ in September 2007, Dr Mikuriya said:

“…The first PICARD Conference held in 2006 recognised this potential for the research market in customs and border management, and the PICARD partners announced the launch of a research journal for customs matters. Since then, the International Network of Customs Universities (INCU) has been working on this new venture, and today I am delighted to launch the first edition of the World Customs Journal.

I would like to commend the efforts of the INCU in providing customs professionals, academics, industry researchers, and research students with a medium through which to share insights and knowledge in the customs field … I hope the World Customs Journal will grow as a valuable reference source for the customs community to meet the requirements of the new strategic environment and for the wider international community to deepen their understanding of the customs world.”

Dr Mikuriya’s professional and academic achievements place him in a position where he has great appreciation of the importance of raising the academic standing of the Customs profession and promoting educational programs and academic research to support modernisation, capacity building, and strategic decision making of customs administrations worldwide.

Under Dr Mikuriya’s leadership, the WCO established the Research and Strategies Unit in April 2009 to produce research and policy analysis on Customs and international trade matters, and in June 2009 launched WCO Research Paper Series to disseminate research and stimulate policy debate on a broad range of Customs and international trade related topics.

These initiatives complement activities of the INCU and the PICARD Programme in promoting and generating customs research.

Before taking up his position as WCO Secretary General in 2009, Dr Mikuriya spent seven years as WCO Deputy Secretary General and prior to joining the WCO Dr Mikuriya worked for Japan’s Ministry of Finance for 25 years. Dr Mikuriya holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in law from the University of Tokyo (Japan) and a PhD in international relations from the University of Kent (United Kingdom).

The INCU has enjoyed a good working relationship and collaboration with the WCO over the past five years and we look forward to working with Dr Mikuriya and the WCO Secretariat in the years to come.