Sadaaki Numata officially became the new ambassador of Japan on Feb. 8. A career diplomat, Mr. Numata joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after graduating from Tokyo University's Faculty of Law in 1966. He was sent to Oxford University, where he obtained a Master's degree in philosophy, politics and economics, and also served at the Embassy of Japan in London from 1968 to 1970. Upon returning to headquarters, Mr. Numata spent six years working on economic cooperation and then North American affairs, including Japan-Canada relations. In 1976, he embarked on his second diplomatic assignment to Jakarta, Indonesia for a two year term, immediately followed by four years as the politico-military officer at the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C. He returned to Tokyo in 1982 and served in the Ministry's Economic Affairs bureau, directing the First International Organizations (GATT) Division. Two years later, Mr. Numata made the move to the North American Affairs Bureau where he spent a year directing the Japan-US Security Division, followed by two years as head of the First North America Division. Geneva was his next assignment, where he served as Deputy Japanese Representative to the Conference on Disarmament from 1987 to 1989. He was then based in Canberra, Australia as Deputy Head of Mission at the Japanese Embassy until 1991 when he returned home to serve as Deputy Spokesman of the Foreign Ministry for three years. In 1994, Mr. Numata returned to London, England, assigned as Minister Plenipotentiary and Second in Command at the embassy. Back in Japan in 1998, he took over as Director General for the Press and Public Information section for two years until he embarked to Pakistan on his first posting as ambassador of Japan until 2002. Prior to his arrival in Canada on Dec. 30, 2004 , Mr. Numata was involved with Okinawan Affairs in Japan. He was in Japan on Jan. 1920 during Prime Minister Paul Martin's visit. "We have an extensive agenda before us;" said Ambassador Numata, outlining his objectives in his post-credential presentation speech on Feb. 8, "developing an innovative Canada-Japan Economic Framework within six months and launching a joint study on further promotion of the bilateral economic relationship, enhancing foreign policy coordination on such issues as early realization of UN reform, particularly reform on the Security Council, human security, combating terrorism, non-proliferation, and so forth."