• Kyodo

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Retired Adm. Chuang Ming-yao, currently secretary general of Taiwan’s National Security Council, will become the new head of Taiwan’s top body dealing with Japan in a reshuffle of the island’s security services next month, local media reported Thursday.

Chuang, 71, is a former top navy commander who served as Taiwan’s chief representative in Japan for four years from 1996.

Chuang left his Tokyo-based post in May 2000 to head the National Security Council in the newly formed government of President Chen Shui-bian, Taiwan’s first non-Nationalist Party president.

Chuang will succeed Lin Chin-ching as head of the Association of East Asian Relations, the reports said. Lin, 78, also a former top representative to Japan, will retire.

The semiofficial association and its Japanese counterpart, the Interchange Association, are handling bilateral matters in the absence of diplomatic relations.

Japan switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1972, but has been maintaining strong informal commercial and cultural ties with the island.

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