BERLIN–The German Embassy in Tokyo is having difficulty filling up to 10 posts–about one-fourth of its diplomatic staff positions–as German diplomats are reluctant to come to Japan due to radiation fears stemming from the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, it has been learned.
According to sources, the vacant posts include important positions such as the heads of the economic department (minister counselor), political section (counselor) and cultural section.
After the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake triggered the nuclear crisis, the German Embassy evacuated from Minato Ward, To-kyo, to Osaka Prefecture from March 18 to April 29 in the belief the situation would deteriorate.
During this period, some embassy officials returned to Germany and did not want to return to Japan.
Other diplomats refused to be assigned to Japan, even though they had previously agreed.
A source close to the issue said it was doubtful the vacant posts would be filled before next summer. “The embassy is not working as smoothly as it should,” the source said.
It is rare for German diplomats to leave their families at home if they are assigned abroad. Therefore, when their families object to an assignment, they are unlikely to accept an overseas posting.
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