Mitoji Yabunaka in 2005
|Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs|
|Preceded by||Tsuneo Nishida|
|Director-General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau|
|Preceded by||Hitoshi Tanaka|
Mitoji Yabunaka(薮中 三十二Yabunaka Mitoji, born January 23, 1948) is the current Japanese Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs in charge of administration. Prior to his current position, Yabunaka served as Ministry of Foreign Affair's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Director-General. He has been a diplomat for nearly forty years.
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Before entering government service, Yabunaka was a senior researcher at the International Institute for Strategic Studies from 1990-1991.In 1998, Yabunaka became Consul General of Japan in Chicago US, and visited the country on several occasions.
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Yabunaka has represented Japan on a number of occasions, and has negotiated trade deals with the United States, Australia,and Indonesia. He has had contact with a number of United States diplomats, including hosting current United States Ambassador to Japan John Roos shortly following Roos' appointment. During the first, second, and third rounds of the Six-party talks, Yabunaka represented Japan as chief delegate. The Japanese government also sent Yabanuka as a delegate to China to discuss issues of natural gas reserves under the East China Sea.
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He handled Myanmar relations during the Kenji Nagai shooting incident, demanding an investigation and challenging governmental claims.Yabunaka replaced Toshiyuki Takano as Director-General of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau in 2002. In 2008, Yabunaka held talks with South Korean Ambassador Kwon Chul Hyun over disputed islets in the Sea of Japan.
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