Russia ace loses Foreign Ministry post over harassment claim

The Yomiuri ShimbunThe Foreign Ministry has removed the director of its Russian Division from his post, amid suspicions that he sexually harassed a female employee of the ministry.

Tadaatsu Mori, 49, was officially removed for committing an act that damaged public trust as a national government official. He was suspended for nine months based on the National Civil Service Law and transferred to the ministry’s secretariat, effective this past Monday.

The ministry’s personnel department said it would withhold details regarding the reason for the punishment, to protect the privacy of the people involved. However, a source close to the ministry said Mori is suspected of having sexually harassed a female employee.

“It’s regrettable that this incident occurred in the ministry,” Foreign Minister Taro Kono told reporters on Tuesday. “The ministry takes the matter seriously and will enforce stricter discipline among its employees.”

Mori joined the Foreign Ministry in 1991. He has been regarded as an ace of the Russian school, as ministry officials who are skilled in the Russian language are called. He became director of the Russian Division in January last year.

Mori has been involved in negotiations with Russia over the northern territories, and he accompanied Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on his visit to Russian in late May.

The ministry’s deputy director general of the European Affairs Bureau, Toshihiro Aiki, will act as director of the Russian Division until Mori’s successor is named.Speech

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