Newly appointed Japanese ambassador to China collapsed unconscious on the street Thursday morning, The Nikkei reports.

Shinichi Nishimiya collapsed near his home in the Shibuya district of Tokyo, where a passer-by saw the ambassador unconscious and made an emergency call to the police. An official at the foreign ministry confirmed the 60-year old career diplomat had been taken ill and was hospitalized, AFP reports. The police stressed that they found no signs of foul play.

Nishimiya was appointed as replacement to Uichiro Niwa amid the diplomatic row between Japan and China over disputed islands in the East China Sea. Nishimiya’s appointment is part of Japan’s attempt to play the right cards in the diplomatic front as tensions in territorial disputes remain as flashpoints for its relations with neighboring countries such as China and South Korea.

According to the ministry, Nishimiya was set to officially take on his post within 40 days of the appointment and had been making arrangements with other countries in relation to the just-concluded APEC summit as deputy foreign minister in charge of economic affairs.