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Retired MOFA diplomat to assume top security post at Kantei

All national papers reported on the official GOJ decision on Tuesday to tap former Vice Foreign Minister Akiba as the successor to Secretary General Kitamura of the National Security Secretariat, saying that the appointment signals Prime Minister Suga’s increased reliance on the Foreign Ministry in conducting diplomacy after its influence ebbed significantly under the former Abe administration. Kitamura, a former senior National Police Agency official, took up the post two years ago with the strong backing of Abe, who was allegedly not pleased that former Secretary General Yachi, also a former vice foreign minister, hesitated to endorse Abe’s efforts to conclude a peace treaty with Russia through increasing economic support. Some Suga administration officials were reportedly concerned that Kitamura, who used to be the nation’s top spymaster at the Kantei, did not have enough diplomatic expertise.

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