Japan's new foreign minister sworn in

13:50, March 10, 2011      

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Japan's new Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto speaks during a press conference in Tokyo, capital of Japan, March 9, 2011. Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Wednesday appointed State Foreign Secretary Takeaki Matsumoto as foreign minister following Seiji Maehara's resignation Sunday over an illegal donation. (Xinhua/Ji Chunpeng)

Takeaki Matsumoto was sworn-in as Japan's new foreign minister at an attestation ceremony on Wednesday at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

Matsumoto, 51, who previously held the post of state foreign secretary, accepted the offer of the new position on Tuesday evening, when it was formally offered by Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

Speaking at his inaugural press conference after the attestation ceremony, Matsumoto pledged that he will undertake the unfulfilled missions of deepening the Japan-U.S. security alliance and promoting foreign policy to amplify the nation's economic gains.

He also hinted at his positive stance on the possibility of Japan joining a U.S.-backed Pacific free trade agreement and voiced his determination to address issues of territorial rows between Japan and its neighbors such as South Korea and Russia.

Matsumoto's promotion follows the resignation of his predecessor, Seiji Maehara, which was formalized Monday following his admission of receiving illicit donations.
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http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90777/90851/7314576.pdf