Fumio Kishida starts work as Japan’s prime minister
Written by tokyoclub on October 5, 2021
Fumio Kishida got to work as Japan’s prime minister on Tuesday, a day after taking office and forming a Cabinet to meet challenges including reviving an economy battered by COVID-19.
“I would like to speedily respond to various challenges,” he told reporters before holding a meeting with his ministers.
Japan’s new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks to reporters at his office in Tokyo on Oct. 5, 2021. (Kyodo)
Kishida has vowed to implement a “new capitalism” that focuses on boosting economic growth and redistributing the fruits of that success to increase middle-class incomes. An economic package worth “tens of trillions of yen” is in the works to support people and businesses reeling from the pandemic, he has said.
First, he will need to steer the Liberal Democratic Party-led coalition to victory in a general election that will take place Oct. 31.
Kishida told a press conference Monday he will dissolve the House of Representatives, the powerful lower chamber of parliament, on Oct. 14, with the campaigning period to start on Oct. 19.
A strong mandate from voters will give Kishida’s Cabinet, which is full of fresh faces with 13 of its 20 members taking a ministerial post for the first time, greater freedom to pursue his policies.
Japan’s new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (front, C) and his Cabinet members pose for a photo at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Oct. 4, 2021. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo
Kishida appointed Daishiro Yamagiwa as economic and fiscal policy minister, while putting Takayuki Kobayashi in a new post charged with economic security, including preventing a technology drain from Japan.
Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi were retained, while Shunichi Suzuki, a former Olympics minister, was named finance minister.
Parliament convened an extraordinary session and elected Kishida as prime minister on Monday, replacing Yoshihide Suga who resigned amid criticism over his COVID-19 policies.
Kishida is set to deliver a policy speech and answer questions from party leaders in the coming days before heading into the general election.