Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno announced on Wednesday the composition of the new government following the anticipated reshuffle.
Yasukazu Hamada, who served as a defense minister in 2008-2009, reprised his role as the head of the defense ministry, while his predecessor, Nobuo Kishi was appointed as a special adviser to the prime minister on national security.
Former top official for COVID-19 response Yasutoshi Nishimura is the new minister of economy, trade and industry, who will also be in charge of economic cooperation with Russia. Nishimura is no stranger to economic matters, as he worked as minister of economic revitalization in 2019-2021.
Political chief of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Sanae Takaichi, was assigned the position of economic security minister. Her former post was handed to Koichi Hagiuda, now former minister of economy, trade and industry.
Taro Kono, who has a track record of serving as a foreign minister from 2017-2019 and defense minister from 2019-2020, is the new minister of digital affairs.
The office of minister for internal affairs and communications was allocated to ex-adviser to the prime minister Minoru Terada. Katsunobu Kato will reprise his post as health minister after two prior terms.
Some ministers were not impacted by the reshuffle, such as foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, finance minister Shunichi Suzuki, chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, land, infrastructure, transport and tourism minister Tetsuo Saito and economic revitalization minister Daishiro Yamagiwa. Yamagiwa also occupies the newly inaugurated post of a minister for startups and will spearhead Japan’s COVID-19 response efforts.
New officials will take the seats of ministers of education, justice, agriculture, environment and disaster prevention.
LDP Vice Chairman Taro Aso and Secretary General Toshimitsu Motegi both retained their positions in the party leadership.
The members of the new cabinet will officially take office on Wednesday after the confirmation ceremony by Japan’s Emperor Naruhito.
Originally, the government reshuffle was supposed to be carried out in early September, but Prime Minister Fumio Kishida decided to expedite the process as he wanted to accelerate the promotion of his economic concept of “new capitalism,” and take action due to rising food and fuel prices.