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Envoy to Seoul to be tapped as ambassador to U.S.  

All national papers wrote that coordination is underway within the GOJ to appoint Ambassador to South Korea Koji Tomita as the new ambassador to the U.S., saying that the veteran diplomat has strong connections with people associated with the incoming Biden administration. Tomita reportedly cultivated bonds with senior Democratic officials when he served as minister counselor at the Japanese Embassy during the Obama administration.  He was also the ministry’s director general of the North American Affairs Bureau from 2013 to 2016. As President-elect Biden has tapped officials who served under the Obama administration as cabinet members and top policy aides, the GOJ has reportedly concluded that Tomita is the best person to lead the Japanese diplomatic mission in the U.S. in the hope that he will fully capitalize on his Democratic contacts to renew the nation’s ties with the incoming administration. While noting that Tomita previously served as ambassador to Israel before being assigned to Seoul in October last year, the papers noted that it is unusual for a Japanese diplomat who was not a vice foreign minister or deputy foreign minister to be appointed as the envoy to Washington. He will reportedly arrive in the U.S. capital in late January.   

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