Jul 30, 2014

Kennedy presents birthday cake to Kishida

U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy presented a birthday cake to Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on Tuesday, his 57th birthday. In a 30-minute meeting at the Foreign Ministry, Kennedy celebrated Kishida’s birthday, telling him that July 29 is a special day, according to the ...

Jul 22, 2014

Japan appoints new envoys to Belgium, EU, Botswana, Sudan, E. Timor

Masafumi Ishii, former director general of the Foreign Ministry’s International Legal Affairs Bureau, was appointed Tuesday as ambassador to Belgium. Also approved by the Cabinet was Keiichi Katakami, former director general of the Foreign Ministry’s Economic Affairs Bureau, as ambassador to the European Union. ...

Jul 15, 2014

Career diplomat to lead Tokyo's international outreach efforts

Akio Miyajima, deputy chief of mission at the Japanese Embassy in Britain, will take up a new post leading the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s foreign affairs activities, the central government said Tuesday. With the new post, to be officially created and filled by the career ...

Abe looks to put his stamp on foreign aid

| Jun 23, 2014

Abe looks to put his stamp on foreign aid

by Mizuho Aoki

Next up for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe? Figuring out how to put official development assistance (ODA) to “strategic” use so the international aid program can help Japan make a more “proactive contribution” to world peace, one of Abe’s pet policy goals. Since the program ...

Feb 28, 2014

North Korea talks set for Monday

Government officials from Japan and North Korea will hold talks in China on Monday, the first such meeting since November 2012, the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo and Red Cross Society said. The talks will be on the sidelines of meetings by Red Cross officials ...

Feb 14, 2014

Envoy to Congo sacked over staff embezzlement

Yoshimasa Tominaga, ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was effectively removed Thursday in response to the embezzlement of public funds by an embassy employee. The Foreign Ministry reprimanded Tominaga, 63, and ordered him to return home. Earlier this year Shinya Yamada, former ...

Dec 20, 2013

China supplants Japan in Americans' eyes: poll

According to a survey, more Americans believe that China — rather than Japan — is Asia’s most important partner for the United States. The survey, commissioned by the Foreign Ministry, reversed the results of a similar survey last year. The poll, conducted in July ...

Nov 15, 2013

Japan honors Jane Birkin for tsunami relief effort

British-born singer-actress Jane Birkin was awarded the top honor Thursday from the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo for supporting Japan’s relief efforts after the devastating 2011 earthquake. Best known as the muse of iconic French singer Serge Gainsbourg, who wrote several of her albums, Birkin ...

Jul 17, 2013

Diplomat disciplined for disparaging LDP lawmaker on Facebook

The Foreign Ministry slapped a ministry official with a disciplinary warning Wednesday for disparaging a ruling party lawmaker on Facebook, saying the posting damaged public trust in national civil servants. “The Foreign Ministry will continue to draw its personnel’s attention to the appropriate private-use ...

Jun 14, 2013

Budget cuts affecting diplomacy, embassy galas

The Foreign Ministry is worried that budgetary cutbacks have reduced the quality of receptions at diplomatic missions abroad, denting efforts to boost Japan’s diplomacy, gather information and build personal connections. The ministry is calling for an increase in related outlays under the fiscal 2014 ...