by Sheila A. Smith
September 17, 2012

20120917 Nishimiya Ambassador Shinichi Nishimiya, 1952–2012Ambassador Shinichi Nishimiya (File Photo/Courtesy Consulate General of Japan in New York).
Japan’s newly appointed ambassador to China, Shinichi Nishimiya, passed away suddenly yesterday in Tokyo. He was hospitalized last week after collapsing outside his home. Ambassador Nishimiya was sixty years old.

Ambassador Nishimiya was well-known in the United States as one of Japan’s most energetic and passionate diplomats. Educated in the United Kingdom, he represented Japan here in United States multiple times, and he emerged as one of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ leading America hands. Nishimiya headed up the North American Affairs Bureau from 2007. Most recently, he served as Japan’s consul-general in New York before becoming deputy minister in 2010.

This fall he was to replace Ambassador Uichiro Niwa, the former chairman of Itochu, Ltd., as Japan’s ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. Nishimiya previously served in Japan’s embassy in Beijing from 2005, yet another moment of deep contention between Japan and China.

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