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Takeo Akiba is the Minister for Political Affairs at the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C. since January 2009. Right before he assumed his office, he was a research fellow at Harvard University for 5 months with the research interest on the Impact of WMD Proliferation and East Asian Security. Prior to taking the fellowship at Harvard, he was the Director of China and Mongolia Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan. As a career diplomat, Mr. Akiba has held a number of key assignments in the ministry as follows: From 2004 to 2006, he was the Director of the International Legal Affairs Division. From 2002 to 2004, he served as the Director of the Treaties Division. He also was the Director of the United Nations Policy Division, as well as the Executive Assistant to the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs. Overseas assignments include three years in Washington, D.C., where he was the First Secretary at the Embassy of Japan with responsibility for Japan-U.S. trade disputes. Mr. Akiba is a graduate of the Law Faculty of Tokyo University and also of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, from which he received a Master’s Degree.