Japanese businessman Yukiya Amano has officially taken up the post as the next head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on December 1, to succeed Mohamed ElBaradei.

Before Amano was approved as the next IAEA chief, he served as the Chairman of the IAEA Board of Governors from September 2005 to September 2006.

According to IAEA, on the first day of work its new director general will hold a meeting with his colleagues.

The IAEA spokesman said that no events for press were planned.

The IAEA General Conference unanimously backed the 62-year-old Amano, who is currently Japan''s ambassador to the United Nations in Vienna and who in June gained a narrow majority of the agency''s governing board after six rounds of voting.

He will become the UN nuclear watchdog''s fifth director general replacing Egypt''s Mohamed ElBaradei, who has been in office since 1997.

ElBaradei welcomed Amano''s appointment: "I trust that he will lead the agency with vision, impartiality and courage," he told the General Conference.

ElBaradei, who along with the organization itself was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005, was due to retire on the last day of November after 12 years in office.