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Japan names new envoy to Taiwan

The China Post--Sumio Tarui, a former Japanese ambassador in charge of Okinawa affairs, was named as the country's new de facto ambassador to Taiwan yesterday, according to Japan's Interchange Association (JIA).

Tarui will take office on April 24 as head of the JIA's Taipei office, which handles bilateral exchanges in the absence of official ties between the two countries, the association said in a press release.

Tarui will replace Tadashi Imai, who has been serving as Japan's representative to Taiwan since January 2010. Imai has been appointed as the new president of the JIA at its headquarters in Tokyo.

The 64-year-old Tarui joined Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1971 and has since served as head of the ministry's China Division, as an envoy at Japan's embassy in China, and as the permanent representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, the JIA press released said.

According to the Chinese-language United Evening News yesterday, Imai had asked to be transferred back to Japan to take care of his aging mother.

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