Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Japan

Newsline: Chinese special envoy to North Korea becomes ambassador to Japan

China has appointed its special envoy to North Korea, vice foreign minister Kong Xuanyou, as its ambassador to Japan, state media said on May 28. (https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3012163/chinese-special-envoy-north-korea-kong-xuanyou-becomes) Kong, who has held the South Asia portfolio at the ministry, has been envoy to North Korea since 2017, although much of the diplomacy between Beijing and Pyongyang was handled by the Communist Party. Chinese media said Kong would take up his new position in Japan as successor to Cheng Yonghua. Kong’s replacement as special envoy to North Korea was not named. China and Japan have sparred frequently about their shared history. China has often accused Japan of not properly atoning for its invasion of China before and during the second world war.


Newsline: Japan embassy offers aid to Japanese Venezuelans

The Japanese Embassy in Venezuela has begun providing relief supplies to a community of Japanese Venezuelans as living conditions in the country deteriorate amid worsening political uncertainty. All Japanese expatriate workers and their families have already evacuated the country. A local Japanese school has been shut down. The embassy is now trying to assist more than 400 Venezuelans of Japanese descent who are struggling to get by. At the request of a local Japanese association, the embassy delivered 210 portions of food, including rice and pasta, and some drinking water to the community of ethnic Japanese in the city of Maracaibo in the northwest of the country. (https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20190320_17/) The city is suffering from repeated power blackouts and widespread looting. More than 50 ethnic Japanese families in Maracaibo are unable to leave their homes. The Japanese ambassador Kenji Okada said he hopes that the aid delivery will bring some relief to those who are facing a hard time.

Newsline: Japan to open embassy in Kosovo

Japan State Minister for Foreign Affairs Toshiko Abe announced opening of the Embassy in Pristina. Kosovo President Hashim Thaci has hosted Thursday in his office Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Toshiko Abe (https://www.gazetaexpress.com/en/news/japan-to-open-its-embassy-in-kosovo-174924/). Japanese Foreign Minister Toshiko Abe said that her country soon will open its Embassy in Pristina, which will strengthen cooperation between the two countries and nations. Until now Japan’s diplomatic mission in Vienna has covered Kosovo with a non-resident ambassador.

Newsline: Turkey summons Japanese ambassador over ‘visa disappointment’

Turkey has voiced its disappointment after Japan decided to not hire Turkish workers as part of its new foreign worker policy. Within the framework of the new law that regulates residence permits for foreign workers in Japan that will take effect in April, Japan has listed Turkey in the draft published regarding the countries from which foreign workers will not be accepted. Hami Aksoy emphasized that this situation does not reflect the spirit of the strategic partnership and deep-rooted, friendly relations between the two countries, saying that Turkey believes that the decision will be reviewed and corrected as soon as possible. “By summoning Japan’s ambassador to Ankara to our ministry, we conveyed our inconvenience to him,” Aksoy said in a statement. The number of foreigners working in Japan reached a record high of 1.46 million, rising twofold over the past five years as the country grapples with a labor shortage, government data showed recently. The figure as of October 2018 represented a 14 percent increase from the previous year and the sixth consecutive annual gain, according to The Nikkei newspaper, citing data from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.


Newsline: Japan’s embassy in China hectic ahead of Lunar New Year holiday

Japan’s embassy and consulates general in China are in the midst of their busiest season of the year for the issuance of visas to Chinese citizens ahead of the week-long Lunar New Year holiday starting Feb 4, diplomats said. In recent days, thousands of Chinese people have visited the Japanese Embassy in Beijing daily to apply for tourist visas. On Friday morning, Chinese passports were piled up on desks at the office in charge of visa issuance. As the Japanese government this month eased requirements for tourist visas issued to Chinese nationals, the number of applicants appears to be increasing by “10 to 20 percent” from the previous year, an embassy official said. With relations between Tokyo and Beijing improving, more Chinese people are expected to visit Japan, the official said.


Newsline: Japanese FM visiting to inaugurate first-ever embassy of Japan in Cyprus

Japanese state minister for foreign affairs Kazuyuki Nakane will be in Cyprus o Monday on an official visit during which he will meet his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Christodoulides. The visit was described as “particularly important” by the presidential palace as Nakane visiting Cyprus comes within the framework of the inauguration of the first Japanese Embassy in Nicosia, which will take place Monday at 7.30pm in the presence of the president. “The opening of the Japanese embassy is a development that offers significant new prospects for deepening cooperation with a country of crucial regional and international importance, such as Japan,” the palace said in a statement.


Newsline: Bulgarian Embassy first secretary found dead after fall in Japan

A man, identified as the first secretary at the Bulgarian Embassy in Japan, was found dead on the ground in front of a commercial building in Shinjuku on Monday morning in what appears to be a suicide, police said. At around 9:45 a.m., a passerby called emergency services saying that he saw a man “falling from a high place,” Sankei Shimbun reported. When emergency services arrived at the scene, they found the man lying on the ground unconscious. He was taken to a hospital where he was soon pronounced dead. The man was identified as the first secretary of the Bulgarian Embassy in Tokyo, which is located in Shibuya ward. The man, whose name has been withheld, was 41 years old and had apparently begun his term at the embassy in March. Eyewitnesses reported to the police that they saw the man standing on the 7th floor on the building shortly before he fell to his death. There was no suicide note found at the scene, police said.