Mr. Tanaka has been the global associate for energy security and sustainability at the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ) since 2011. He is also a professor at the University of Tokyo's Graduate School of Public Policy.
As executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) from 2007 to 2011, he oversaw a collective release of oil stocks in June 2011 and played a crucial role in strengthening ties with major non‐member energy players, including China, India, Russia, and South Africa. He began his career in 1973 in the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) in Tokyo and has served in a number of high‐ranking positions, including director general of the Multilateral Trade System Department and director for International Nuclear Energy Policy of the Natural Resources and Energy Agency.
He was deeply engaged in a range of trade and economic issues with the US as minister for industry, trade, and energy at the Embassy of Japan, Washington DC, from 1998 to 2000. He has also served as director for Science, Technology, and Industry of OECD.