Ministry of Foreign Affairs [Gaimusho]
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs takes charge of the planning of basic and middle- or long-term foreign policy from wider points of view and the coordination of policies formulated by other bureaus. Special emphasis is put on national security issues and issues related to the United Nations. It also plays a leading part in a serious emergency. It also takes charge of the following matters: arms control and disarmament; non-proliferation; nuclear energy, and; science cooperation and other scientific affairs.
When increasing its personnel, the Ministry has placed priority on strengthening its crisis-management and security systems, which must enable the government to respond immediately. In spite of tight budgetary and recruitment restraints, the Ministry increased its staff by 72 during FY1998: 22 at the Ministry itself and 50 at overseas diplomatic and consular establishments. This brought staff totals to 5,169: 2,010 at the Ministry itself and 3,159 at overseas establishments. At the same time, the Ministry not only increased staff numbers but also made efforts to utilize its staff more effectively and to streamline administration, and in addition has implemented reforms to enhance staff recruitment and training.
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