Ambassador to the Netherlands Kazuhiko Togo and Ambassador to Kazakstan Toshimitsu Mori left the Foreign Ministry on Friday for their respective roles in inciting policy division within the Russian Affairs Bureau.
The ministry meanwhile named Takaaki Kojima, minister to the United States, as director general of the Intelligence and Analysis Bureau. The appointment, approved by the Cabinet Friday morning, takes effect immediately.
Kojima, 55, held posts at embassies in Britain and China and served as consul general in Sao Paulo before taking the position as minister at the Japanese Embassy in the U.S. in August.
Early this month, Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi said she would dismiss Togo for creating elements of conflict in the Russia division, adding that Mori was responsible for having tolerated such behavior from Togo. She said she had accepted an offer by Mori to resign from the ministry.
Kawaguchi said Friday morning that, while Togo was dismissed because he did not submit a resignation request, she believes he has accepted his fate.
Togo, however, has reportedly expressed dissatisfaction over the way the ministry dealt with his case.
Kawaguchi told a news conference that she has never spoken in person with Togo over the matter but that she has read his written explanation of his relationship with controversial lawmaker Muneo Suzuki and that she has conveyed her thoughts indirectly to him.
Suzuki, a House of Representatives member from Hokkaido, left the ruling Liberal Democratic Party last month to take responsibility for allegations that he was excessively involved in the Foreign Ministry’s affairs, including over Russia and some African countries and in the bidding for government-funded overseas aid projects.
Togo is said to have worked closely with the lawmaker while serving as director general of the European and Oceanian Affairs Bureau from August 1999 to last May. Mori was in the No. 2 position in the bureau under Togo.
The bureau changed its name to the European Affairs Bureau in January 2001.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.