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MOFA to recapture diplomatic initiative under Suga administration 

Saturday’s Asahi wrote that MOFA appears to be seizing the initiative in Japan’s diplomacy under the Suga administration following the departure of former Prime Minister Abe’s top policy aide Takaya Imai, who had wielded strong clout in formulating the GOJ’s foreign policy. MOFA’s influence had declined sharply under the Abe administration, as Imai teamed up with National Security Secretariat Secretary General  Kitamura, who previously served as a senior National Police Agency bureaucrat, to sideline MOFA so that the premier was able to take the lead in diplomacy. However, as MOFA has reportedly detected a “vacuum” in Kantei diplomacy following the resignation of Abe and Imai, Foreign Minister Motegi is now eager to conduct active “in person diplomacy. The daily speculated thaalthough Suga allegedly has strong confidence in Kitamura’s diplomatic and security expertise as well as his connections with U.S. officials, the ministry is now aiming to send Vice Foreign Minister Akiba to the Kantei to succeed Kitamura. 

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