Japan’s ex-FM elected as 100th PM, new govt. unveiled

Former Japanese foreign minister Fumio Kishida took office as the 100th premier on Monday. Later, the new cabinet was announced with several new members.

Japanese lawmakers voted on Monday to approve Kishida as new prime minister. The LDP chose Kishida as its new leader last week.

Kishida reportedly plans to dissolve the House of Representatives on 14 October. According to NHK, an election for Japan’s lower house will be convened on 31 October.

In September, former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced his decision to step down amid plummeting popularity over his handling of the coronavirus response, including the slow rollout of vaccines. Suga has spent just 384 days in office.

Four people were bidding for the post — Vaccination Minister Taro Kono, former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, former Interior Minister Sanae Takaichi, and LDP Executive Acting Secretary General Seiko Noda.

Kyodo has reported that Kishida’s first business in office will be that of implementing measures to prevent a new COVID-19 outbreak, as the island nation has recently been undergoing a decline in cases.

The composition of the new Japanese government was also announced on Monday.

The announcement was made by new Cabinet Secretary General Hirokazu Matsuno.

Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi retained their posts.

Koichi Hagiuda will head the Ministry of Economy and Trade.

Kosaburo Nishime will be in charge of the Northern Territories.

Genjiro Kaneko was appointed the minister of agriculture. Shun’ichi Suzuki became the finance minister. The Health Ministry will be headed by Shigeyuki Goto. Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi will serve as the minister of environment. Yasushi Kaneko will serve as the minister of national affairs, while Yoshihisa Furukawa was appointed the minister of justice, and Shinsuke Suematsu will head the Ministry of Science and Education.

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