The government plans to appoint Deputy Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama as new vice foreign minister, the top bureaucrat at the Foreign Ministry, a government source said Thursday.

Sugiyama, 63, who will replace Akitaka Saiki, 63, formerly served as director-general of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau and is known for his negotiating skills and expertise in international law.

Deputy Vice Minister for Foreign Policy Takeo Akiba, 57, is likely to succeed Sugiyama in the personnel change, which is soon to be made official, the source said.