Ono to Succeed Scandal-Hit Yamada as Cabinet PR Secretary

Politics Society

Tokyo, March 3 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government decided Wednesday to appoint Foreign Ministry Deputy Press Secretary Hikariko Ono as cabinet public relations secretary to succeed scandal-hit Makiko Yamada, who resigned on Monday citing her poor health.

The decision to appoint the second consecutive female cabinet public relations secretary was made at a round-robin-style cabinet meeting.

At a news conference on Wednesday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said Ono has extensive work experience in the field of public relations and press. "I expect her to surely fulfill her duties as cabinet public relations secretary, which include explaining the cabinet's important policies to the public clearly," Kato added.

After joining the Foreign Ministry in 1988, Ono, 55, assumed such posts as chief of the ministry's Public Diplomacy Strategy Division, as well as minister to the Mission of Japan to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. She has also served as head the Office of Global Communications at the prime minister's office. In 2016, Ono was named as spokeswoman for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

When Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga took office in September last year, Yamada became the first female cabinet public relations secretary. But she stepped down after coming under fire for attending an expensive dinner paid for by senior officials of a broadcasting company, including the prime minister's eldest son, when she was working for the communications ministry.

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Jiji Press