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A spectral atmospheric general circulation model called AFES (AGCM for Earth Simulator) was developed and optimized for the architecture of the Earth Simulator (ES). The ES is a massively parallel vector supercomputer that consists of 640 processor nodes interconnected by a single stage crossbar network with its total peak performance of 40.96 Tflops was achieved for a high resolution simulation (T1279L96) with AFES by utilizing the full 640-node configuration of the ES. The resulting computing efficiency is 64.9% of the peak performance, well surpassing that of conventional weather/climate applications having just 25-50% efficiency even on vector parallel computers. This remarkable performance proves the effectiveness of the ES as a viable means for practical applications.