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International relations

Japan appoints ex-Self-Defense Force officer as Djibouti ambassador

Otsuka headed to Horn of Africa nation, which hosts Japanese and Chinese bases

TOKYO -- Japan has decided to send its first-ever ambassador to come from the ranks of the Self-Defense Forces to Djibouti, a small but strategically important African country home to China's first overseas base and Japan's only such site.

The cabinet approved the appointment of 60-year-old Umio Otsuka on Friday, to take effect Wednesday.

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