Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi has publicly criticised Japanese Ambassador to Russia Minoru Tamba. The Minister's dissatisfaction was caused by the mass media reports about the Ambassador's free-of-charge visits to a swimming pool in the fitness club of the Radisson Slavyanskaya hotel.
"It is unacceptable for the Ambassador to use free-of-charge services," Kawaguchi stated when talking to journalists at a short news conference.
She also said that on Thursday, she sent a message to Tamba ordering him to stop his free-of-charge visits to the swimming pool. The Minister emphasised that the use of free-of-charge services "violates the spirit of the law on state employees." Minoru Tamba, in his turn, told Japanese journalists the other day that he was offered a free-of-charge season ticket "for guests of honour" to the fitness club of the Radisson Slavyanskaya hotel. He accepted the gift because other high-ranking foreign diplomats, including the Swiss Ambassador, enjoyed the same privileges there.
Minoru Tamba was appointed the Japanese Ambassador to Russia in August 1999. The Japanese government recently took a decision to replace Tamba with Issei Nomura, the Ambassador to Germany, probably this September. Issei Nomura used to head the USSR Department of the Japanese Foreign Ministry.