New Japan party chief Kishida eyes naming key faction members to exec posts
Written by tokyoclub on September 30, 2021
Fumio Kishida, the new leader of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party and presumed next prime minister, began arranging his party executive lineup on Thursday, with members of major factions expected to be named to key party and government posts.
Akira Amari, chairman of the LDP Research Commission on the Tax System, is set to succeed long-serving LDP Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai, a senior party official said, while education minister Koichi Hagiuda, may be appointed chief Cabinet secretary, the top government spokesman, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Combined photo shows Akira Amari (L) and Koichi Hagiuda. (For editorial use only)(Kyodo)
Amari, who supported Kishida’s campaign for Wednesday’s LDP presidential election, belongs to the LDP’s second-largest faction led by Finance Minister Taro Aso, while Hagiuda is with the party’s largest 96-member faction led by former Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda.
“I am studying various options. I am now thinking hard about it,” Kishida told reporters in the morning.
He will make his decisions by Friday when the party’s new executives will be introduced.
Kishida said in his first press conference after being elected head of the party and in effect successor to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga that it is important to consider the balance between young and old in deciding who will fill the party’s executive positions.
He has also suggested appointing his rivals in the presidential election — vaccination minister Taro Kono, former communications minister Sanae Takaichi, and Seiko Noda, the LDP’s executive acting secretary general — to key posts in the government.
Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa, who belongs to Kishida’s faction, is also expected to be given a key post, according to the sources.
During the election campaign, Kishida vowed to introduce reforms, including limiting the terms of LDP executives to up to three years.
Kishida is poised to be elected Japan’s prime minister Monday in an extraordinary Diet session as the LDP-led coalition controls both chambers of the parliament. He will also decide his Cabinet lineup then.