Japan Likely to Name Tomita as Ambassador to U.S.

Politics Society

Tokyo, Dec. 7 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government is considering naming Ambassador to South Korea Koji Tomita as the next ambassador to the United States to replace Shinsuke Sugiyama, informed sources said Monday.

The government aims to utilize Tomita's connections with U.S. Democrats to build a relationship with President-elect Joe Biden, who is set to take office next month, the sources said.

After joining the Foreign Ministry in 1981, Tomita, 63, served as ambassador to Israel before assuming the current post in October last year.

When Biden was U.S. vice president between 2009 and 2017 under the administration of then President Barack Obama, Tomita worked to strengthen the two countries' alliance as minister at the Japanese embassy in Washington and director-general of the ministry's North American Affairs Bureau.

It is unusual for a Japanese official to become ambassador to the United States without having an experience as vice foreign minister or senior deputy foreign minister, sources familiar with the situation said.

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Jiji Press