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NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (August 30, 2002 - PINA Nius Online)---Japan’s new ambassador to Tonga, Kenro Iino, has presented his credentials to King Taufa‘ahau Tupou IV -- and renewed old friendships in Nuku‘alofa.

The ambassador, who is based in Fiji, was one of the first Japanese officials assigned to Tonga, as a second secretary in 1979 when Japan's embassy was established in Suva.

He played a major role in the kingdom's relations with Japan until his departure in 1981.

Mr. Iino began his diplomatic career when he joined Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1969. Since then, he has served in a number of countries, including Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Australia.

Ambassador Iino said he has special feelings towards the Pacific Islands region because many of his posts in the ministry were closely related to the region.

As well as his postings in Fiji and Papua New Guinea, he has also worked in the Oceania Division in the European and Oceania Affairs Bureau and International Fisheries Division in the Economic Affairs Bureau.

He was also in the Research and Planning Division in the Economic Cooperation Bureau, doing work related to the Pacific Islands region.

He said that he would like to help further strengthen the existing excellent relationship between Tonga and Japan.

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