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TOKYO, January 25. /TASS/. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to replace a team of high-ranking diplomats responsible for talks with Russia, the Asahi newspaper said on Wednesday.
The Japanese government’s special envoy for relations with Russia, Chikahito Harada, who had been the country’s ambassador to Moscow for nearly five years, is expected to be the first person to be dismissed, according to the report. Most recently, Harada took part in the consultations on signing a peace treaty with Russia.
The paper says the prime minister’s office has decided that the new official responsible for talks with Moscow will be Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Takeo Akiba, who is an expert in the international law. He also took part in the consultations with Russia’s representatives.
Later this month, some reshuffles are also expected in the Japanese Foreign Ministry. The director of the department for Europe and the head of a Russian department inside its subdivision are expected to be replaced.
According to the paper, the upcoming reshuffles are linked to the December 15-16 visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan. Prime Minister Abe is expected to intensify the talks with Moscow by renewing the team.