Friday, December 31, 2010
The Ambassador of China from Japan
After Kan Naoto took power from Hatoyama who resigned as prime minister on 2 June 2010, he appointed Niwa Uichito as the ambassador of China, succeeding Miyamoto Yuji in late July. Niwa was part of the student movement against the 1980 revision of the Japan-U.S. security treaty when he was a student at Nagoya University. He joined Itochu and became president in 1998, as well as chairman in 2004 and adviser in 2010. This will be the first ambassador to China from the private sector since the two countries normalized diplomatic relations in 1972, where there have been 12 Foreign Ministry officials serving as ambassador to China. Niwa has been promoting tie-ups with Chinese companies in the food and textile sectors. Unfortunately, Niwa had dealed with the problem of a fishing boat collision in the East China Sea. Usually, former bureaucrats would be diplomats for the Japanese government, yet this reflects the Kan administration’s determination to control power in Japanese politics. At the same time, former vice chairman of Nomura Securities Co., Toda Hiroshi, was named as ambassador of Greece. These changes were a first in Japanese politics since WWII.