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METI official Hirata to be executive of Japan soccer body.

TOKYO, July 16 Kyodo

A senior bureaucrat at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has been appointed an executive of the Japan Football Association, METI boss Takeo Hiranuma said Tuesday.

Takeo Hirata, 42, ''has in my understanding made a decision in response to a strong request'' from the Japanese soccer body, Hiranuma said at a press conference.

A former chief of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Division of the Natural Resources and Energy Agency, Hirata was shifted Monday to a temporary position at the Minister's Secretariat, apparently to facilitate his retirement.

''He is an able person and did particularly well in the oil field. But he also made great contributions to the launch of the J-League,'' Hiranuma said.

''I hope to continue getting his ability if possible as he is an able person with international connections. I have to consider ways to do so,'' the minister said.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Jul 22, 2002
Words:149
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