By MARIE SAHORI, Nikkei staff writer
TOKYO — Japan is boosting its diplomatic presence abroad, increasing consular staff and opening embassies in places such as Vanuatu and Haiti.
Earlier this month, Japan opened an embassy in the South Pacific country of Vanuatu and one in Kosovo, formerly part of the old Yugoslavia. The plan is to set up an embassy in Haiti sometime during fiscal 2020 and open a consulate on the Philippine island of Cebu in January 2021.
The Foreign Ministry will also add personnel to enhance its ability to communicate with other countries and collect information abroad. In fiscal 2020, the ministry will hire 30 more employees at its head office and take on 40 additional staff members at diplomatic offices overseas.
To finance this expansion, about 6.7 billion yen ($61 million) has been set aside for the year that starts in April, a 2.1 billion yen boost on the year.
Japan now has 227 embassies, consulates and permanent missions across the world. Tokyo is also repairing and renovating buildings and facilities housing these offices.
Diplomatic offices are seeing greater demand for visas from prospective visitors to Japan. These offices will also step up consular services to Japanese nationals abroad.