In Memorium -- Dr. Yutaka Akino (1950-1998)

On 20 July 1998, Dr. Yutaka Akino, our friend and colleague, lost his life in the Republic of Tadjikistan.
Dr. Akino was one of Japan's distinguished specialists in Slavic Eurasian studies. Born in Otaru, Hokkaido, in 1950, he graduated from Waseda and Hokkaido Universities in 1974 and 1976, respectively, and obtained his Masters and Ph.D from the Graduate School of Law at Hokkaido University in 1978 and 1983. Dr. Akino taught as an assistant at the Faculty of Law of Hokkaido University (1981-86), and as a lecturer and associate professor at Tsukuba University from 1986 to March 1998.
In April 1998, Dr. Akino was sent to Tadjikistan by Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to work as a political affairs officer under the auspices of the UNMOT peace-keeping operation. On July 20, while patrolling a mountainous area east of Dushanbe, his UN vehicle was ambushed by unknown assailants and Dr. Akino, along with the rest of his patrol team, were killed. The Slavic Research Center (SRC) expresses its shock and outrage over this incident and condolences to the families of the other team-members: Major R. Szewczek, from Poland, Major A. Sherpegi, from Uruguay, and Mr. Y. Makhramov, the team's Tadjik interpreter and driver.
For more than two decades, since his entry into the Faculty of Law at Hokkaido University directly after he graduated from Waseda University, Dr. Akino played an important role in the SRC's activities. Since 1982, a year after he started working as an assistant at the Faculty of Law, Dr. Akino's research was officially associated with the SRC's research activities.
Between 1995 and 1997, when the SRC worked on a priority research project entitled "Changes in the Slavic Eurasian World", Dr. Akino actively participated in and contributed greatly to the project. We still have fresh memories of how energetically he presented his unique views based on "hot data" obtained from his abundant field surveys, while participating in meetings and symposia. Regrettably, Dr. Akino was unable to attend the SRC's Summer International Symposium this year (July 23-24) since he was working in Tadjikistan and we were devastated by the news of his death the preceding day of the Symposium. At the Symposium's opening, participants observed one minute of silence in honour of Dr. Akino's memory.
On July 25, Dr. Akino's body was brought to his home in Sapporo and the following day a private funeral was held in accordance with his family's wishes. Two public memorial meetings are planned: one in Sapporo in August and one in Tokyo in September.
The Sapporo memorial meeting is to be held on August 6, starting at 6 p.m. at the Sapporo Park Hotel (Sapporo Paaku Hoteru).
Koichi Inoue, SRC Director

July 1989
SRC's Symposium
July 1995
SRC's Symposium


 in 1982 with J.Beksiak and Ts. Togawa

To the Memory of Dr.Akino

Takayuki Ito (in Japanese)
Akihiro Iwashita (in Japanese)
Basil Dmytryshyn
Keimei Sato (in Japanese)
Tadayuki Hayashi (in Japanese)
James Gibson's family

Dr.Akino's Recent Articles Published by the SRC

  1. Enlargement of NAT0-EU and the Borders of the former USSR-Eastern Europe Block (1998, in Japanese)
  2. Moscow's New Perspectives on Sino-Russian Relations (1996, in English)

Akino Fellowships

  1. Announcement of Akino Memorial Research Project and Fellowship at the United Nations University
  2. Akino Eurasia Foundation - in Japanese

Slavic Research Center