After a monthlong standoff with bureaucrats over personnel matters, Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka on Monday lifted a freeze on transfers of 18 ambassadors who had been unofficially assigned new positions before she took office in late April.

Vice Foreign Minister Yutaka Kawashima told a news conference that the Minister approved the 18 new appointments and the retirement of eight bureaucrats.

Other transfers, such as those of division heads, are still pending, Kawashima said.

“We will seek another approval for that matter,” he said.

Tanaka declared a freeze on all ministry personnel transfers on May 8 after the ministry decided to move Russian division head Jiro Kodera to a position in Britain. Tanaka had earlier instructed the ministry not to go through with the transfer.

Kodera had already left for Britain when he was ordered to return to his post.

In early May, Tanaka froze personnel appointments that had been unofficially approved by her predecessor, Yohei Kono, a senior LDP lawmaker.

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