The government is considering appointing Kojiro Shiraishi, chairman of media conglomerate the Yomiuri Shimbun group, as its new ambassador to Switzerland, a government source said Wednesday.

It would be rare for someone working in the media to be appointed as an ambassador, but the 72-year-old Shiraishi has served in a government-appointed role before.

While in the role of chairman at the Japan Newspaper Publishers & Editors Association, Shiraishi was also a member of a government panel of experts tasked with reviewing proposals for Japan's new era name before Reiwa was chosen.

The position of Japanese ambassador to Switzerland has been vacant since April this year after the resignation of Etsuro Honda, who is known as one of the key architects of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic policy. Honda had been in the post since March 2016.

Born in Toyama Prefecture, Shiraishi joined the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper in 1969. He became president of the Yomiuri Shimbun group in June 2011 and assumed his current post in June 2016.

He served as chairman of the Japan Newspaper Publishers & Editors Association for six years from June 2013.