Professor Emeritus IOKIBE Makoto of Kobe University passed away suddenly on March 6 due to illness.

Iokibe became a professor at the Faculty of Law in 1981 and taught there until 2006, while at the same time conducting painstaking research in the fields of Japanese political history and political and diplomatic history. He not only made great contributions to the development of research at Kobe University, his research was also met with broad public interest. After retiring from Kobe University, he served as president of the National Defense Academy of Japan, as chancellor of the Prefectural University of Kumamoto, and as chancellor of the University of Hyogo. In 2020, he was appointed special advisor to the Imperial Household Agency. In relation to the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake that occurred during his tenure at Kobe University, he actively led efforts for the reconstruction of Kobe City and Hyogo Prefecture. He also served as chairperson of the Reconstruction Design Council of the Great East Japan Earthquake and president of the Hyogo Earthquake Memorial 21st Century Research Institute and has had the important responsibility of pointing the way forward after Japan’s recovery from the various disasters. It is still fresh in our memories that he made many proposals related to the Noto Peninsula earthquake that occurred just in January this year.

Iokibe was one of Japan’s most respected intellectuals, and in addition to his great efforts at Kobe University, he made a tremendous contribution to the vision of Japan’s future in the world and the international order. We are deeply saddened by the unexpected news of his passing and express our sincere sympathies to his loved ones.

March 7, 2024
Masato Fujisawa, president, Kobe University