See More on Facebook

Politics

PM Abe surprises by appointing Koizumi to 1st Cabinet post

Abe nominates rising political star to cabinet post.


Written by

Updated: September 12, 2019

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who doubles as Liberal Democratic Party president, is attempting to maintain “stability” by not changing the core members of his administration in the reshuffle of his Cabinet and party executives, while also demonstrating the ability to “challenge” by appointing young and mid-career lawmakers such as Shinjiro Koizumi of the House of Representatives.

Abe is apparently looking ahead to the end of his term as party leader in September 2021 by putting the finishing touches on his long period in power.

3rd-youngest postwar minister

A mid-career LDP lawmaker was excited Tuesday evening after watching a television report predicting Koizumi’s appointment to the Cabinet for the first time. “It’s the biggest surprise [in the reshuffle],” the lawmaker yelled.

Koizumi was elected to the lower house in 2009, inheriting the turf of his father, former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. Currently in his fourth term, the 38-year-old is the third-youngest Cabinet minister appointed since the end of World War II.

With a reputation for skillfully employing biting comments in speeches and elsewhere, Koizumi is well known among the public. However, because he backed former LDP Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba in his attempt to defeat Abe in last September’s party leadership election, many party members believed he would not receive a Cabinet post this time.

Abe is thought to have tapped Koizumi because the young lawmaker strongly conveys the “challenge” aspect of Abe’s goal to present a “strong lineup of stability and challenge” in this round of personnel appointments, as well as a desire to encourage competition among his potential successors.

During the Junichiro Koizumi administration, Abe was named secretary general of the LDP in 2003 despite only being in his third term in the lower house. He was then made chief cabinet secretary in 2005 and became prime minister in 2006, culminating his rapid ascent to power.

“If Shinjiro can build a track record as a cabinet minister, I can see him running in the next [LDP] presidential election,” a senior LDP official said.

The Cabinet will thus also give Koizumi a venue for taking on new challenges himself.

So far, he has honed his policy-making skills as chairman of the LDP’s Agriculture and Forestry Division and Health, Labor and Welfare Division. However, ministers need a wide range of abilities, such as for diplomatic negotiations, domestic coordination and responding to questions in the Diet. As a member of the Cabinet, he will need to be more cautious in his statements.

In addition to Koizumi, Abe has appointed other “post-Abe” candidates to key positions.

In the party’s executive lineup, Policy Research Council Chairman Fumio Kishida retained his post and Yoshihide Suga remains chief cabinet secretary. Toshimitsu Motegi was moved from state minister for economic revitalization to foreign minister, and Katsunobu Kato was appointed to lead the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, moving from chairman of the party’s General Council.

Many mid-career lawmakers received Cabinet posts. From an LDP faction led by Hiroyuki Hosoda, the faction which Abe also belongs to, Yasutoshi Nishimura was moved from deputy chief cabinet secretary to minister for economic revitalization. Isshu Sugawara, an unaffiliated lawmaker and former state minister of finance (the second highest position in the ministry), received the important economy, trade and industry minister post.

Paying attention to factions

Meanwhile, the administration has maintained its core axis. In the Cabinet, Taro Aso will continue on as deputy prime minister and finance minister, and in the party leadership Toshihiro Nikai will remain secretary general.

To head up the party’s General Council, Abe named Shunichi Suzuki, formerly minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games known for his coordinating skills, while Hakubun Shimomura moved from chairman of the party’s Headquarters for the Promotion of Revision of the Constitution to head the Election Strategy Committee.

Abe paid some consideration to allocating positions to factions that supported him in last year’s presidential election.

A faction led by Wataru Takeshita was not given any of the party’s top four posts, though faction members Motegi and Kato were made important members of Cabinet. From the faction of Nobuteru Ishihara, Hiroshi Moriyama was kept on as head of the Diet Affairs Committee. With Takashi Yamashita’s removal as justice minister, the Ishiba faction now has no Cabinet posts.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Japan News
About the Author: The Japan News is published by The Yomiuri Shimbun, which boasts the largest circulation in the world.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Politics

Modi defends citizenship decision

PM Modi says it has nothing to do with Indian Muslims. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, that unity in diversity is integral to India while addressing ‘Aabhar Rally’ at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan today to kick start Bharatiya Janata Party’s Delhi Assembly Elections campaign slated for early next year, amid protests in Delhi and all over the country against the contentious Citizenship Act and the National Register of Citizenship(NRC). Modi raised slogan of ‘vividhta me ekta, Bharat ki visheshta’ (Unity in diversity is India’s speciality). PM Modi while giving his party and government’s view on CAA and NRC said, “Muslims being misled, I have always ensured that documents will never come in way of development schemes and their beneficiaries.” Citizenship law and NRC have nothing to do with Indian Muslims or with Indian citizens, he clarified. “We have never asked


By The Statesman
December 23, 2019

Politics

Rallies rage on in India over citizenship law

Thousands of students flood streets of Delhi; Assam state sees five protesters shot dead. Thousands of university students flooded the streets of India’s capital yesterday, while a southern state government led a march and demonstrators held a silent protest in the north-east, to protest against a new law giving citizenship to non-Muslims who entered India illegally to flee religious persecution in several neighbouring countries. The protests in New Delhi followed a night of violent clashes between the police and demonstrators at Jamia Millia Islamia University. People who student organisers said were not students set three buses on fire and the police stormed the university library, firing tear gas at students crouched under desks. Members of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party said opposition parties were using th


By The Straits Times
December 17, 2019

Politics

Japan: Koizumi offers no concrete plan on coal

The new environment minister needs to offer better ways to tackle climate change.  During a ministerial meeting of the U.N. climate summit in Madrid on Wednesday, Shinjiro Koizumi, the Environment Minister did not express concrete steps for reducing coal-fired thermal power generation. Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi did not express concrete steps for reducing coal-fired thermal power generation, for which construction of new plants is currently underway in Japan, during a ministerial meeting of the U.N. climate summit in Madrid on Wednesday. “I am afraid I cannot share new development on our coal policy today,” Koizumi said at the ongoing 25th Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate


By The Japan News
December 13, 2019

Politics

Power transition after Apec summit

Mahathir open to stepping down after APEC summit. Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the world’s oldest prime minister, has promised to hand over power to anointed successor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in spite of new sexual assault allegations against him. Dr Mahathir, 94, said he would not hand over before a summit of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) countries that Malaysia is to host in November 2020, but could be ready after that. “I made a promise to hand over and I will, accepting that I thought that a change immediately before the Apec summit would be disruptive. “As far as I’m concerned, I’m stepping down and I’m handing the baton to him (Anwar). If people don’t want him, that is their business, but I will do my part of the promise… irrespective of whatever allegation. I made my promise, I keep my promise, ” he said in an interview w


By The Star
December 11, 2019

Politics

Communist Party of China calls for efforts to deepen reform and expand opening-up

Political Bureau stresses importance of winning three critical battles in 2020. The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee called on Friday for solid efforts to deepen reform and expand opening-up, amid tensions in the external environment, to ensure that the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects will be attained next year. The general trend of China’s economy in maintaining stable and long-term positive operation remains unchanged, according to a statement released after the bureau’s meeting, presided over by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee. China will keep its economic growth within a reasonable range in 2020, with more “forwarding-looking, targeted and effective” policies, the statement said. The nation will pursue a policy framework that allows macro policies to be stable, micro policies


By China Daily
December 9, 2019

Politics

Najib to take the stand today

The former premier is accused of malfeasance. Today is the day that Malaysians will see, for the first in the country’s history, a former prime minister take the stand to answer charges against him in a court of law. Datuk Seri Najib Razak (pic), 66, will testify from the witness box as the first defence witness to rebut his seven charges of misappropriating RM42mil in SRC International Sdn Bhd funds before High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali. According to his co-counsel Harvinderjit Singh, Najib will be called as the first witness on the opening day of the defence’s proceedings. Najib will be first questioned by his defence during examination-in-chief before being cross-examined by the prosecution. On Nov 11, Justice Mohd Nazlan ordered Najib to enter his defence on three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT), three charges of money laundering and on


By The Star
December 3, 2019