This autumn, the shocking news of senior officials dying unexpectedly circulated within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On Oct. 30, Miyamoto Tetsuji, minister-counselor at the Embassy of Japan in Russia (also head of political section) died from a subarachnoid hemorrhage at a Moscow hospital. On the same day in Tokyo, Iida Shinichi, deputy director-general of MOFA’s economic affairs bureau, also died from a subarachnoid hemorrhage.
MOFA’s so-called “Russian school” has recently been hit by a series of scandals. Miyamoto became head of the ministry’s Russian Division to succeed Mori Tadaatsu, who was reprimanded for alleged sexual harassment and suspended from duty for nine months. Miyamoto was involved in the peace treaty negotiations with Russia, which have not been going smoothly, and had been “under great strain,” a source close to MOFA says.
Mori, on the other hand, is now serving as minister-counsellor at the Embassy of Japan in Australia. In September, his son sent an email to MOFA officials about his father’s domestic violence against his family, which made headlines in weekly magazines. Ambassador to Russia Kozuki Toyohisa, who has been in his current post for six years, contracted COVID-19 and there are concerns about his health. Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles Muto Akira, who is seen as a successor to Kozuki, suffered from a brain disorder several years ago and is not in good shape either. Russia has become something of a “demon’s gate” in MOFA.