34.7 F
New York
Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Profiles of Japan PM Kishida’s Cabinet members

Here are the profiles of members of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s Cabinet:


Diplomatic career highlights of new PM Kishida

Fumio Kishida. (Kyodo)

Fumio Kishida, Japan’s new prime minister, helped realize the 2016 visit by U.S. President Barack Obama to atomic-bombed Hiroshima, his constituency, and struck the 2015 agreement with South Korea to resolve the issue of wartime comfort women during his tenure as foreign minister of over four and half years.

Having been defeated last year in the previous Liberal Democratic Party presidential race by former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Kishida, 64, reached out to people in rural areas and pledged to tackle the economic disparities that exist in Japanese society.

The third-generation lawmaker heads a major faction in the ruling party that produced four prime ministers before him.

 

Motegi led Japan’s efforts to donate COVID-19 vaccines

Toshimitsu Motegi. (Kyodo)

Toshimitsu Motegi, retained as foreign minister, is known as a policy expert well-versed in economic and foreign policy and led Japan’s efforts to provide COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan and Southeast Asian nations.

The 65-year-old House of Representatives lawmaker led talks to strike a bilateral trade deal with the United States and conclude the revised Trans-Pacific Partnership, an 11-member regional free trade agreement.

Currently in his ninth term, Motegi had a diverse career before winning a lower house seat for the first time in 1993, with stints at trading house Marubeni Corp., at the Yomiuri Shimbun daily as a political news reporter, and at McKinsey & Co. as a consultant.

 

New government spokesman Matsuno well-versed in education issues

Hirokazu Matsuno.(Kyodo)

Mild-mannered Hirokazu Matsuno, Japan’s new chief Cabinet secretary, has spent much of his life working on education issues, as well as promoting the enhanced status of women and equal opportunities in society.

The 59-year-old former education minister belongs to the largest faction in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party led by former Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda. He is known for his close ties with former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The Chiba Prefecture native was elected, at his second attempt, to the House of Representatives in 2000. He previously worked at the Matsushita Institute of Government and Management, known as an incubator for young people aspiring to pursue a political career.

 

Retained Defense Minister Kishi is Abe’s younger brother

Nobuo Kishi. (Kyodo)

Nobuo Kishi, retained as Japan’s defense minister, is former premier Shinzo Abe’s younger brother and grandson of another former prime minister, Nobusuke Kishi.

Kishi, 62, is versed in international and economic affairs partly due to his 21-year career at trading company Sumitomo Corp. before entering politics. Under former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Kishi strove to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific in the face of an increasingly assertive China.

The House of Representatives lawmaker was first elected to the upper House of Councillors in 2004. In 2012, he successfully ran for the more powerful lower house, and is currently serving his third term representing Yamaguchi Prefecture.

 

New Finance Minister Suzuki brother-in-law of predecessor Aso

Shunichi Suzuki. (Kyodo)

New Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki is a member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s second-largest faction led by his predecessor Taro Aso, who is also his brother-in-law.

The 68-year-old, son of late former Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki, had served as environment minister and twice as minister in charge of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, before chairing the LDP’s decision-making General Council for a year until September 2020.

After working as a secretary for his father, Suzuki won his first House of Representatives seat in 1990, and is now in his ninth term in the lower house. His constituency in Iwate Prefecture suffered from the massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster in northeastern Japan. His hobbies are playing golf and cooking.

 

Justice Minister Furukawa known as fan of rock singer Yazawa

Yoshihisa Furukawa. (Kyodo)

New Justice Minister Yoshihisa Furukawa, taking his first Cabinet post, is known for being well-versed in finance and law, and is a big fan of veteran Japanese rock singer Eikichi Yazawa.

Furukawa, a 56-year-old former senior vice minister of finance, backed former vaccination minister Taro Kono, who was defeated by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in the presidential election of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. He is among the founding members of a faction led by former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba, who backed Kono in the Sept. 29 election.

A former bureaucrat at the predecessor of the land ministry, Furukawa was elected to the House of Representatives in his third bid in 2003 from a constituency in Miyazaki Prefecture, southwestern Japan.

 

New transport minister Saito is heavyweight of Komeito

Tetsuo Saito. (Kyodo)

New transport minister Tetsuo Saito is deputy leader of the Komeito party, the junior coalition partner of the Liberal Democratic Party, having served as environment minister and Komeito’s secretary general and policy chief.

A former engineer with a doctoral degree, the 69-year-old minister of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism researched the development of space at major construction firm Shimizu Corp. before first being elected to the House of Representatives in 1993.

Sato, a ninth-term lower house member, is expected to face headwinds in a general election slated for Oct. 31 when he runs as a unified candidate of the LDP-Komeito coalition in a Hiroshima district previously held by Katsuyuki Kawai, a former justice minister and LDP member who quit in a high-profile vote-buying scandal.

 

New health minister Goto known for management skills

Shigeyuki Goto. (Kyodo)

Shigeyuki Goto, securing his first Cabinet post as health, labor and welfare minister, is a former bureaucrat who is credited for his management skills.

Previously serving as acting chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party’s Policy Research Council, Goto, a 65-year-old six-term member of the House of Representatives, joined the ruling party in 2003.

Before winning his first seat in 2000 for the now-defunct Democratic Party of Japan, the graduate of the University of Tokyo served at the Finance Ministry. While at the ministry, he studied economics at Brown University in the United States.

 

Industry minister Hagiuda close aide of Abe

Koichi Hagiuda. (Kyodo)

Koichi Hagiuda, the new minister of economy, trade and industry, is known as a close aide of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Hagiuda, 58, served as education minister under former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, when he led the government’s efforts to promote digitalization at schools so as to facilitate distance learning as Japan was hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

A member of the Liberal Democratic Party’s largest faction with 96 members, Hagiuda has also served in posts such as deputy chief Cabinet secretary and executive acting secretary general of the LDP.

 

New farm minister Kaneko dedicated to fostering local industries

Genjiro Kaneko. (Kyodo)

Genjiro Kaneko, picked as the new farm minister, is a veteran lawmaker dedicated to fostering local industries in rural areas.

The 77-year-old, two-term member of the House of Councilors, has 46 years of experience in politics, with past stints as a governor and a prefectural assembly member in his home prefecture of Nagasaki, southwestern Japan. He also served five terms in the House of Representatives.

Kaneko, who belongs to a faction led by new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, served as chairman of the upper house budget committee.

 

Vaccination minister Horiuchi is a three-term lower house member

Noriko Horiuchi. (Kyodo)

Noriko Horiuchi, taking her first Cabinet post as minister in charge of coronavirus vaccinations and Olympic-related issues, is a three-term lower house member who served as a senior vice minister of environment.

Horiuchi, 55, is the daughter-in-law of the late Mitsuo Horiuchi, a former international trade and industry minister who previously led a Liberal Democratic Party faction currently headed by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

First elected as a House of Representatives member in 2012 in Yamanashi Prefecture, she was an avid tennis player in her junior high and high school days. Her husband Koichiro is the president of rail operator Fuji Kyuko Co.

 

Environment Minister Yamaguchi ex-member of one-time ruling party DPJ

Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi. (Kyodo)

New Environment Minister Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi is a six-term lower house member who left the now-defunct Democratic Party of Japan and joined the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in 2015.

The 67-year-old former diplomat made his way into politics after becoming acquainted with veteran opposition lawmaker Ichiro Ozawa, serving in such posts as senior vice minister of the Cabinet Office in the DPJ when it was in power between 2009 and 2012.

Yamaguchi, a native of Hyogo Prefecture, left the DPJ after it was voted out and joined an LDP faction led by former Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai.

 

Gender equality minister Noda known as aspirant for 1st female PM

Seiko Noda. (Kyodo)

Seiko Noda, minister in charge of declining birthrate and gender equality issues, has made no secret about her desire to become the first female prime minister of Japan, a bid in which she failed in her defeat to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in last week’s Liberal Democratic Party leadership race.

Known as a strong-willed lawmaker, Noda, 61, was among the LDP lawmakers who pushed for insurance coverage of fertility treatment and other support. She gave birth to a boy at the age 50 through in vitro fertilization using a donated egg in the United States.

A granddaughter of a former construction minister, the nine-term House of Representatives member has served as minister of internal affairs and communications as well as executive acting secretary general of the LDP, among other roles.

 

Digital minister Makishima known as hunting, game meat enthusiast

Karen Makishima. (Kyodo)

Karen Makishima, the new digital and administrative reform minister, is known as a hunting and game meat enthusiast with a trapping license.

A three-term House of Representatives member, the 44-year-old became the first female director of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s Youth Division. She had called for upholding an internal party rule that says candidates in the proportional representation slot in the lower house election must not be older than 73.

The native of Kanagawa Prefecture obtained a master’s degree from the graduate school of political management at George Washington University and ran for the lower house in 2009 from the home constituency of former House of Representatives speaker Yohei Kono, who retired that year and chose her as his successor. She succeeded in her second bid.

 

Ninoyu, nat’l public safety chief, was longtime assemblyman

Satoshi Ninoyu. (Kyodo)

Satoshi Ninoyu, given his first Cabinet post as chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, is a former senior vice internal affairs minister who has worked to promote regional revitalization by making use of his experience as a longtime member of the Kyoto city assembly.

A three-term House of Councillors member, the 77-year-old indicated in June that he will not run for another term in the upper house election next summer and retire from politics.

A native of Kyoto in western Japan, Ninoyu served as a member of the city assembly from 1987 before being elected to the upper house in 2004. He was one of the 20 lawmakers who gave new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida the endorsement he needed to run in the Liberal Democratic Party’s leadership election.

 

Suematsu active in barrier-free push for disabled lawmakers

Shinsuke Suematsu. (Kyodo)

Shinsuke Suematsu, the new education minister, has been actively promoting accessibility within the House of Councillors to support Diet members with disabilities.

The 65-year-old, three-term member of the upper house, previously worked as senior vice minister of transport and parliamentary vice minister of finance. As chairman of the upper house committee on rules and administration, he had worked for a barrier-free environment to help disabled lawmakers of the opposition party Reiwa Shinsengumi.

Prior to entering politics, the native of Hyogo Prefecture worked at All Nippon Airways Co. after studying law at Kwansei Gakuin University. He was first elected to the upper house in 2004.

 

World Expo minister Wakamiya is well-versed in security policy

Kenji Wakamiya. (Kyodo)

Four-term lower house lawmaker Kenji Wakamiya, appointed as minister in charge of the 2025 World Exposition in Osaka, is known to be well-versed in security policies.

Having previously been in the posts of senior vice defense and vice foreign minister, Wakamiya is one of key members of the Liberal Democratic Party’s study group calling on Japan to develop and export a successor to Air Self-Defense Force F-2 fighter jet.

The 60-year-old Tokyo native worked as a secretary for the late Seiji Tsutsumi, who led the now-defunct consumer services and finance conglomerate Saison Group, before he was first elected as a House of Representatives member in 2005.

 

New Okinawa affairs minister Nishime on mission to develop islands

Kosaburo Nishime. (Kyodo)

Kosaburo Nishime, appointed the new minister in charge of Okinawa and Northern Territories affairs as well as reconstruction, has made it his mission to work on industrial and infrastructure development of the southern island prefecture, including its remote islands.

Nishime, a 67-year-old, five-term member of the House of Representatives who hails from Okinawa, has served in posts such as secretary to his father Junji Nishime, who was then Okinawa governor, and senior vice economy minister.

First elected to the lower house in 2003, Nishime was one of the 20 lawmakers who gave new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida the prerequisite endorsement for his run in the Liberal Democratic Party leadership election. He is a fan of retired Japanese pop diva Namie Amuro, also from Okinawa.

New internal affairs minister Kaneko versed in regional economy

Yasushi Kaneko. (Kyodo)

Yasushi Kaneko, picked as the minister of internal affairs and communications, is a former senior vice minister for the transport ministry who prioritizes revitalizing regional economies.

Kaneko, 60, belongs to the liberal-leaning faction of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and served as acting chairperson of the Policy Research Council when it was headed by Kishida.

Hailing from Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan, Kaneko was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2000.

 

Kobayashi named to new post of economic security minister

Takayuki Kobayashi. (Kyodo)

Takayuki Kobayashi, who has been named to the newly created post of economic security minister, served as a former parliamentary vice minister of defense and helped Akira Amari, the new secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, draw up economic security policies, including to protect advanced technology.

Before winning his first seat as a House of Representatives member in 2012, the 46-year-old worked at the Finance Ministry and served as a secretary at the Japanese Embassy in the United States. He attended the University of Tokyo and earned a master’s degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

The native of Chiba Prefecture and one of three third-term lower house members joining the Cabinet, belongs to an LDP faction led by Toshihiro Nikai, the party’s longest-serving secretary general.

 

Economy minister Yamagiwa was veterinarian before entering politics

Daishiro Yamagiwa.(Kyodo)

New economic revitalization minister Daishiro Yamagiwa worked as a veterinarian before being elected a House of Representatives member in 2003 with the Liberal Democratic Party.

Yamagiwa, 53, now leads the government’s coronavirus response along with the new health minister Shigeyuki Goto and new vaccination minister Noriko Horiuchi.

A close aide to new LDP Secretary General Akira Amari, Yamagiwa, a fifth-term lower house member, has served as deputy minister of economy, trade and industry and acting chairman of the LDP Policy Research Council.

 

Source

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

twenty − four =

Latest Articles