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China has agreed on Japan’s plan to name Hideo Tarumi, former deputy minister at the foreign minister’s Secretariat, as ambassador to China, sources familiar with bilateral relations said Sunday.

Tarumi, 59, is expected to assume his duties in the new post as early as this year, subject to cabinet approval.

There had been speculation that Beijing may not agree on Tarumi’s appointment as the Communist Party of China was watching his advanced intelligence capability with worry, the sources said.

Beijing apparently agreed on his appointment to prevent its ties with Tokyo from worsening amid an escalation in tensions between China and the United States, the sources said.

But a Japanese government source said Tarumi will have difficulty acting freely in China if he gets the Beijing post.

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