Established in 1869, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan—Gaimushō in Japanese—serves Japanese diplomacy by assisting the political leadership in foreign policy decision-making and implementation. Historically, male graduates from the Faculty of Law at the University of Tokyo dominated the diplomatic cadre. In recent years, however, Gaimushō has strived to diversify its workforce by hiring more women, science majors, and master’s degree holders. Reflecting the primacy of economic diplomacy, about half of Gaimushō’s budget is devoted to official development assistance for developing countries in Asia and Africa, managed through the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Gaimushō faces challenges in budget, staff size, and diversity, even as it works to enhance its diplomatic corps.
KeywordsJapan Diplomacy Diplomats Foreign policy Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Gaimushō
The author wishes to thank the diplomats and scholars consulted in researching and writing this chapter, who have chosen to remain anonymous.
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