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Akiba Becomes Japan's Longest-Serving Vice Foreign Minister

Akiba Becomes Japan's Longest-Serving Vice Foreign Minister

   Tokyo, April 16 (Jiji Press)--Takeo Akiba became the longest-serving Japanese vice foreign minister in the postwar era on Friday, when he marked 1,184 days in office.
   He thus passed Nobuhiko Ushiba, who served in the top post for Foreign Ministry bureaucrats under the administration of then Prime Minister Eisaku Sato, which lasted between 1964 and 1972.
   The ministry is regaining its influence under the current government of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga after seeing its presence weaken during the second administration of Suga's predecessor, Shinzo Abe, who promoted the country's diplomacy under the lead of the prime minister's office. Akiba is playing a central role in the Suga government's diplomacy.
   Akiba, who joined the ministry in 1982 after graduating from the University of Tokyo, served as director-general of the International Legal Affairs Bureau and of the Foreign Policy Bureau, and then as senior deputy foreign minister for political affair before becoming vice foreign minister in January 2018.
   In 2006, when he was chief of a China affairs division at the ministry, Akiba engaged in the work to draw up the concept of a mutually beneficial strategic partnership between Japan and China as part of Tokyo's efforts to improve its relations with Beijing. Akiba was in charge of negotiations with Russia when he was serving as senior deputy foreign minister.

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