Japan To Appoint New Ambassador To South Korea

Japan to appoint new ambassador to South Korea

The Japanese government plans to appoint Koji Tomita as its new ambassador to South Korea. He is the former head of the Foreign Ministry's North American Affairs Bureau.

The move comes amid strained relations between the two countries over wartime history. The 61-year-old Tomita will replace Yasumasa Nagamine.

After Tomita joined the Foreign Ministry in 1981, he worked at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, and was an ambassador to Israel. He also did preparatory work for the Group of 20 summit in Osaka in June.

In 2017, Ambassador Nagamine was temporarily recalled to Tokyo from Seoul.

That was in protest against the installation of a statue in front of Japan's diplomatic mission in Busan, symbolizing those referred to as wartime comfort women.

Japan apparently hopes to improve the chilly ties with South Korea by appointing Tomita, a career diplomat.

The government will formally decide on his appointment after receiving approval by South Korea's government.