The Foreign Ministry launches a new “NGO Center” today that is designed to improve communication and cooperation with nongovernmental organizations.

The new center will be established under the Domestic Public Affairs Division, with its director, Takayuki Miyashita, leading the team.

The ministry already has contacts with various NGOs at different sections, but the new center will provide a single channel where NGOs can make contact with the ministry and be referred to appropriate sections, Press Secretary Ryuichiro Yamazaki said at a news conference Tuesday.

The ministry previously set up an NGO center at the time of the Group of Eight summit meeting in Okinawa in July. The latest initiative is a continuation of efforts to build up closer ties with NGOs, Yamazaki said.

The phone number for the new NGO center is (03) 3581-6108, and the fax number is (03) 3593-0800. Information is also available on the Internet at www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/

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