TOKYO: The Japanese government appointed Umeo Otsuka, the former head of the intelligence headquarters at the Ministry of Defense, as ambassador to Djibouti in what is considered the first appointment of a Japanese military official to an ambassadorial position, in line with the presence of a small Japanese defense forces facility in that country.
Otsuka was Vice Admiral who retired in December last year after serving in the Japanese Self Defense Forces for over 40 years since joining the National Defense Academy in 1979.
Otsuka’s command tours include commanders of destroyers and Training Squadron, as well as Chief of Staff of the Self Defense Fleet. His shore duties include Alliance Management, Naval Diplomacy, Education and Intelligence.
The appointments also include Kotaro Suzuki as ambassador to Iraq and Kaoru Shimazaki, the current envoy to the Czech Republic, as ambassador to Jordan.
Kazutuchi Aikawa, currently deputy chief of the diplomatic mission at the Embassy of Japan in Washington, will also take over the position of Japan’s new ambassador to Iran.
In addition, Kazuhiro Suzuki was appointed as ambassador to Turkey, Takako Ito as ambassador to Ethiopia, and Toshihiko Horiyuchi was assigned to Japan’s diplomatic mission to the African Union.
All these latest appointments come into effect on Tuesday and Wednesday.