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Foreign Minister Taro Kono on Monday extended a warm welcome to the ministry’s newest recruits, and asked the young diplomats to continue improving their English and other essential skills needed to connect Japan with the rest of the world.

“By devoting yourself to studying English — a common language of the world — I want you to build your negotiation and communication skills,” Kono told the 123 new recruits on the first weekday of fiscal 2018.

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