• Kyodo

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The government formally approved the appointments Thursday of Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary Masato Kitera as the new ambassador to China and Jiro Kodera, former head of the Foreign Ministry’s European Affairs Bureau, as the envoy to Saudi Arabia.

Both appointments take effect Monday. In a related move, Ambassador to Switzerland Kazuyoshi Umemoto, 61, who had been at the post since September 2011, was named new assistant chief Cabinet secretary.

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