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Monday, 19th March 2012
In General Japan News,

Japan plans major foreign embassy expansion

Japan plans to raise its diplomatic ties around the world with a huge expansion of its overseas embassies, the foreign minister Koichiro Gemba announced on Saturday (March 17th).

Making a foreign policy speech in Nagoya at the weekend, Mr Gemba said that the country would add at least another 16 foreign embassies to the 134 it currently operates, the China Daily reported.

According to Huo Jiangang, a Japanese studies expert at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, the expansion plans are likely to focus on embassies in African countries, where Japan would like to expand its influence.

"Both smaller and larger nations will have the same vote on this matter, and it is useful to establish embassies to greatly improve relations with African countries," he told the news provider.

Mr Gemba also said that Japan would look to deepen its ties with China, saying that the country's economic development created opportunity for both countries and that improving their strategic relations would be a win-win situation.

On Friday March 23rd, the foreign minister will hold a briefing to invite foreign agencies to help Japanese companies in the reconstruction process following last year's tsunami and earthquake.

Written by Mark Smith