Nogami named ambassador to Britain

Former Vice Foreign Minister Yoshiji Nogami will be named new ambassador to Britain in September, government sources said Friday.

Nogami, 62, was fired as the ministry’s top bureaucrat in February 2002 after a public dispute with then Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka over a nongovernmental organization’s participation in an international conference on aid to Afghanistan held in Tokyo. Tanaka was also dismissed.

The decision to hand Nogami a senior post is expected to draw criticism from lawmakers of both the governing and opposition parties, analysts said. Nogami will replace Masaki Orita.

Nogami has been a minister in London since September 2002 and is researching Middle Eastern issues as a senior fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

He graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1966 and has served as director general of the Foreign Ministry’s Economic Affairs Bureau.