Many Women, Newcomers Picked for Kishida's New Cabinet


Tokyo, Sept. 13 (Jiji Press)--In the shake-up of his cabinet and the Liberal Democratic Party's leadership team Wednesday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida picked many female lawmakers and newcomers, balancing public opinion and the interests of factions of the ruling party, while placing top priority on stabilizing his administration.

The personnel changes, which came amid speculation that Kishida may dissolve the House of Representatives, the all-important lower chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament, for a general election within this year, also reflect his aim to be re-elected LDP president in the party leadership race in autumn next year.

In Kishida's 19-member new cabinet, five ministers are women, up from two before the reshuffle and matching a record high also seen for the first cabinet of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, launched in April 2001, and the revamped cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, launched in September 2014.

Of the five women, Yoko Kamikawa, 70, a member of the LDP faction led by Kishida, was appointed foreign minister to replace Yoshimasa Hayashi, also a Kishida faction member, who was expected to stay in the post for the sake of continuity of diplomatic policy. Kamikawa has served as justice minister three times and has a reputation for stability.

Among first-time ministers is Ayuko Kato, 44, a mother of two, who was assigned to the post of minister for policies for children.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press