Skirmish over Defense Spending behind Japan Key Appointment

Politics

Tokyo, July 6 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government's recent defense ministry appointment has fueled speculation about a simmering skirmish over a defense spending increase proposed in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The government has replaced Vice Minister Kazuhisa Shimada with Atsuo Suzuki, who had served as commissioner of the Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency under the Defense Ministry.

The appointment, which went into effect Friday, was decided although Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi had requested that Shimada be kept at the ministry's top administrative post ahead of a planned revision of Japan's key defense policy papers including the National Security Strategy toward year-end.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's office rejected the request, saying that the government customarily limits the term of vice minister basically to two years.

Shimada left office as vice minister Friday, but Kishi named him special adviser to the minister and consultant for the ministry within the day.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press