Cabinet names raft of new envoys

Kyodo News

The government on Friday appointed Kinichi Komano, the 63-year-old ambassador to Ethiopia and Djibouti, as ambassador to Iran, to replace Akio Shirota, 61, who has become ambassador to Norway and Iceland.

The appointments were endorsed by the Cabinet along with postings of new ambassadors to Nicaragua, Bulgaria, Mali, Azerbaijan and Zambia.

As ambassador to Nicaragua, the government named 63-year-old Jiro Shibasaki, the consul general in Manaos, Brazil, while the posting in Bulgaria went to Makoto Ito, 61, executive director of the Foreign Ministry-backed Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development.

Masahiro Kawada, 63, was appointed ambassador to Mali in western Africa after working as counselor at the Japanese Embassy in Morocco.

The government tapped Shusuke Watanabe, 60, consul general in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia, as ambassador to Azerbaijan, and Akio Egawa, 59, who served as special adviser to Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp. until recently, as ambassador to Zambia.