"We cannot continue doing everything the same way we did until now. In order to preserve Japan's positions in the world, it is necessary to move forward very quickly since the countries around us are moving very quickly… And if we want to better [our] position, we need to think and apply other courses of action," Kono said while addressing the Foreign Ministry's staff and reporters.
"Good aspects in traditions of the ministry or what brought us success should be preserved, and [we] should correct the things that should be corrected and move our diplomacy forward. It is necessary to strengthen the Foreign Ministry, to promote the kind of diplomacy that would protect peace and interests of Japan, and would contribute to the cause of peace and stability in the world. I want this year to be the year when we will together try to improve our work," Kono said.
He also stressed the need to increase the number of the ministry's employees in order to conduct modern diplomacy.