The Japanese government is considering appointing Masataka Okano, a deputy head of the National Security Secretariat, as vice foreign minister, government sources said Tuesday.

Supplied photo shows Masataka Okano. (Kyodo)

Okano, 59, who also serves as the assistant chief Cabinet secretary in charge of foreign policy, would succeed Takeo Mori, 62, as the top bureaucrat at the Foreign Ministry.

The appointment is expected to be approved by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's Cabinet soon, the sources said.

Entering the ministry in 1987, Okano took up his current post in September 2022, after serving as director general of the ministry's International Legal Affairs Bureau and director general of its Foreign Policy Bureau.

Mori became vice foreign minister in June 2021.

File photo from 2017 shows the entrance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo. (Kyodo)

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