New envoys

The government approved at a Cabinet meeting Friday the appointment of Kazuo Asakai, ambassador for international economic affairs and global environmental affairs, as ambassador to the European Union.

Asakai, 59, has served as director general of the Multilateral Cooperation Department at the Foreign Ministry and as ambassador to Myanmar. The appointment took effect Friday.

The Cabinet also approved the appointment of Yoshitaka Kawamura, senior executive director of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, as ambassador to Morocco.

Before becoming senior executive director of the bank, the 61-year-old Kawamura served as ambassador to Senegal, concurrently serving as ambassador to Cape Verde, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania and Guinea-Bissau.

Kawamura’s appointment will take effect Monday.

Yuji Nakamura, 58, former consul general at the consulates in Frankfurt and Sydney, will be named ambassador to Switzerland, also as of Monday.

Kazuyoshi Urabe, 59, former ambassador to Bangladesh, will be named ambassador to Egypt, while Hiroyuki Ishi, 62, whose resignation as professor at the University of Tokyo’s graduate school of frontier sciences has been approved, will be appointed ambassador to Zambia, both as of Monday. Ishi formerly worked as an Asahi Shimbun reporter.