TOKYO (majirox news) — The German Foreign Office on Sept. 6 denied a Japanese newspaper report claiming that the German Embassy in Tokyo was short-staffed because of an unwillingness among diplomats to transfer to Tokyo.
“The German Embassy in Tokyo is fully functional,” a spokesperson for the German Foreign Office told Majirox News. “The overall number of employees is around about the same level as before the crisis. Short-time assignments of expatriate staff and an increase of local employees have helped to reach pre-crises staff levels.”
The statement was in response to a Sept. 5 report that the embassy in Tokyo has 10 positions it can’t fill, and this is beginning to cause serious delays and problems in conducting business.
According to sources who discussed the situation with the Yomiuri Shimbun and who did not wish to be named, the currently vacant posts are the equivalent of one quarter of all embassy employees.
A source told the major daily newspaper that positions started to become empty following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster.
Germany moved its Embassy staff to Osaka from March 18 through April 29 to assure their safety. The report said a number of embassy members asked to return to Germany and some have not come back.
Yomiuri’s sources said the vacant positions may not be filled until next summer. “It certainly cannot be said that the embassy at this point is fully functional on all levels,” the Yomiuri quoted one of its anonymous sources as saying.