Mr Yoshio Utsumi worked in the Japanese government for over thirty years and
has a proven track record of expertise in telecommunications at senior policy
levels gained both nationally and internationally.
After earning a Bachelor degree of Law from the University of Tokyo and a
Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Chicago, Mr Utsumi
joined the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) where he held a number
of senior policy-making level positions. In 1972, he was nominated professor of
public administration at the MPT Postal College. From 1986, he led Japanís
largest investment fund at MPTís Postal Life Insurance Bureau until 1988, when
he moved to broadcasting as the Head of the General Affairs Division of MPTís
Broadcasting Bureau. He later joined MPTís Communications Policy Bureau, where
he helped shape Japanís domestic policies. Before joining ITU, his experience in
international affairs included three years in Geneva, where he served as First
Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Japan in charge of ITU affairs and two
years as Director-General of International Affairs of the Ministry of Posts and
Telecommunications. In 1994, he was elected Chairman of the ITU plenipotentiary
conference. At the senior policy-making level, he served as MPT Director-General
and Deputy Minister.
Mr Utsumi is credited with having introduced the competition and
liberalization policy at a time when such ideas were not widely accepted. His
initiative led to Japanís first reform of its telecommunication market. He was
also a major driving force in many of Japanís most important projects to develop
multimedia industries. In the postal sector, he undertook a major restructuring
of Japanís postal services, which he carried out skillfully and successfully
with the cooperation of 200 000 staff at every level. On the international
scene, Mr Utsumi has played a very active role in many negotiations, and in
particular, those leading to the historic WTO agreement on basic
Elected in 1998 as Secretary-General of ITU, he was re-elected for a second
term in 2002.
During his two mandates, Mr Utsumi led the successful organization of the two
phases of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) resulting in the
adoption of the Geneva Declaration of Principles, the Geneva Plan of Action, the
Tunis Commitment and the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society which,
together, provide a common understanding and vision on the way to shape the
emerging information society so that it be inclusive, people-centered and
equitable. A combined total of more than 30 000 people, including around 100
Heads of State and Government, took part in the two phases of the Summit. The
Summit recognized the fundamental role of information and communication
technologies (ICT) in shaping our future, and world leaders committed to
building an information society by 2015, based on agreed principles and a clear
roadmap. Through this process, ITU has asserted its leading role in the broader
domain of the information society.
Under his leadership, reforms were introduced that led to a more efficient
and effective organization, producing cost-savings equivalent to CHF 75 million
out of a total budget of CHF 335 million on average per biennium. Highlights of
his major achievements include the introduction of operational planning,
results-based budgeting and time-tracking across the organization resulting in a
substantial overhaul of the organization. He implemented cost-recovery measures
in satellite filings and cost-saving measures in the areas of publication
production and in working methods while creating new sources of revenue. These
measures led to a reduction in the contributions to be paid by members, despite
growing demands and cost increases.
From a strategic perspective, Mr Utsumi successfully refocused ITU as a
policy-oriented organization by introducing new issues to ensure its continuing
relevance, with landmark activities such as the New Initiatives Programme and
the Global Symposium for Regulators. He also strengthened the role of ITU in the
coordination of policy issues among Member States, particularly through
workshops, country case study research and analysis reports. Through the WSIS
process, ITU gained a clear role in the implementation of the WSIS Plan of
Action, as part of a multi-stakeholder approach.
Under his tenure, ITU was made more attractive to the private sector:
measures that responded to the demands for a lean, efficient and responsive
organization offering a wider portfolio of more relevant services were
introduced. These measures led to a 19 percent increase in private sector
membership and a recommitment of the private sector to the work of ITU.
He also succeeded in strengthening ITUís public presence, particularly
through increased public visibility in the media.
Mr Utsumi was born on 14 August 1942. He and his wife Masako, an architect,
have a son and a daughter.