Who's who in Cabinet of Japan's new PM Fumio Kishida

(Clockwise from top left) Mr Fumio Kishida's new Cabinet team includes Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki, Foreign Affairs Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi. PHOTOS: REUTERS, EPA-EFE

TOKYO - As Mr Fumio Kishida gets sworn in as Japan's 100th Prime Minister on Monday (Oct 4), his new Cabinet team will also start work.

There is very little continuity between his ministerial team and the one under outgoing prime minister Yoshihide Suga, with only two ministers retaining their posts - Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, 65, and Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi, 62.

As many as 13 ministers have entered the Cabinet for the first time.

The team of 21 ministers has an average age of 61.8 years - marginally older than the 60.4 years under Mr Suga at the time of inauguration last year and the 61.6 years under Mr Shinzo Abe's final Cabinet reshuffle two years ago.

There are three women on Mr Kishida's team - there were two in Mr Suga's Cabinet - as well as at least four PhD holders.

The Straits Times looks at who's who on Mr Kishida's Cabinet team.

Prime Minister: Fumio Kishida, 64

A nine-term lawmaker, Mr Kishida was Japan's longest-serving foreign minister from 2012 to 2017. He defeated three other candidates last week in a ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) race to succeed Mr Suga.

One of his defeated rivals, Mr Taro Kono, who was vaccination minister, is the new LDP chief of public relations. Ms Sanae Takaichi, a former internal affairs minister, is the new LDP policy research council chief. Ms Seiko Noda, another former internal affairs minister, is meanwhile brought into the Cabinet.

Minister of Finance: Shunichi Suzuki, 68

A former environment minister and Olympic minister, Mr Suzuki is a nine-term lawmaker who has been tapped to succeed his brother-in-law Taro Aso, 81, as finance minister. Mr Aso has been appointed as LDP vice-president.

Minister of Foreign Affairs: Toshimitsu Motegi, 65

Unchanged. Mr Motegi has been foreign minister since Sept 11, 2019.

Minister of Defence: Nobuo Kishi, 62

Unchanged. Mr Kishi, who is Mr Abe's younger brother - they have different surnames because Mr Kishi was adopted by his maternal uncle as the family was unable to bear a child, first assumed office on Sept 16 last year.

Chief Cabinet Secretary: Hirokazu Matsuno, 59

A seven-term lawmaker, Mr Matsuno was a former education minister and succeeds the outgoing Mr Katsunobu Kato as the top government spokesman. Mr Kato will not have any key role in the new Kishida administration.

Minister of Economic Security: Takayuki Kobayashi, 46

Mr Kishida has entrusted Takayuki Kobayashi, a relatively junior lawmaker who has been elected three times, with the newly formed Cabinet post of minister of economic security. This is in line with growing anxieties over the country's exposure to supply chain and intellectual property theft risks amid the United States-China rivalry.

Mr Kobayashi is a Harvard graduate and former finance ministry bureaucrat, with experience working at the Japanese embassy in the US.

Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry: Koichi Hagiuda, 58

Mr Hagiuda was formerly education minister under Mr Suga's Cabinet, and has shifted portfolios. He succeeds Mr Hiroshi Kajiyama, who has been tapped as the LDP executive acting secretary-general.

Minister for Economic Revitalisation: Daishiro Yamagiwa, 53

Dr Yamagiwa, a five-term lawmaker and a certified veterinarian, gets his first Cabinet post, succeeding Mr Yasutoshi Nishimura who will not have any key role in the new Kishida administration.

Minister-in-charge of Measures against Declining Birthrate: Seiko Noda, 61

In one notable exchange during their LDP campaign debate, Ms Noda pressed Mr Kishida on his measures to stem Japan's demographic crisis. His reply that there are policies across various ministries to tackle this issue was found inadequate and it appeared to be the turning point in his eventual plan to set up a Children's Agency.

Ms Noda, who openly discussed her struggles to give birth, is mother to a disabled child. She will be tapped for the post in a return to the Cabinet, having once been internal affairs minister.

Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications: Yasushi Kaneko, 60

Mr Yasushi Kaneko is a close ally of Mr Kishida, with both being alumni of Waseda University. He gets his first Cabinet post as he succeeds Mr Ryota Takeda.

Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare: Shigeyuki Goto, 65

A graduate of Brown University and a former Finance Ministry bureaucrat, Mr Goto gets his first Cabinet position succeeding Mr Norihisa Tamura.

Minister-in-charge of Covid-19 Vaccinations; Minister for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games: Noriko Horiuchi, 55

Ms Horiuchi, a three-term lawmaker in her first Cabinet position, succeeds two ministers.

She takes over Mr Kono as the point person for Japan's Covid-19 vaccination strategy and Ms Tamayo Marukawa as the minister-in-charge of the Tokyo 2020 Games. While the sporting event is over, tough discussions over how to split the massive bill are ongoing.

Minister for Digital Transformation: Karen Makishima, 44

Dr Makishima, who has a doctorate in philosophy, is the youngest member of Mr Kishida's Cabinet. A three-term lawmaker, Dr Makishima also has experience studying in the US at George Washington University, where she graduated with a master's degree in political management. She succeeds Mr Takuya Hirai and will take over the Digital Agency that was formed last month.

Minister for the Environment: Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi, 67

Dr Yamaguchi, a first-time minister, succeeds Mr Shinjiro Koizumi as environment minister, and will be in charge of realising climate pledges that were made under Mr Suga. Proficient in English, he received his doctorate from Johns Hopkins University and has experience working in both the foreign and defence ministries. Mr Koizumi does not have any key role in the Kishida administration.

Minister of Justice: Yoshihisa Furukawa, 56

Mr Furukawa, a first-time minister, succeeds Ms Yoko Kamikawa as justice minister. He was a bureaucrat at the Construction Bureau before entering politics.

Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology: Shinsuke Suematsu, 65

Mr Suematsu, a first-time minister elected from the Upper House, takes over a ministerial portfolio vacated by Mr Hagiuda, who moves to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries: Genjiro Kaneko, 77

Mr Genjiro Kaneko - no relation to Mr Yasushi Kaneko, the new internal affairs minister - is a first-time minister elected from the Upper House and has experience in the private sector, having worked for a fisheries company. He was a Lower House lawmaker from 1983 to 1998 and Nagasaki governor from 1998 to 2010, before his return to national politics via the Upper House.

Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism: Tetsuo Saito, 69

Mr Kishida followed recent tradition in naming a politician from LDP coalition partner Komeito to the transport ministry. Dr Saito, a former environment minister with a PhD in engineering from the Tokyo Institute of Technology and once a visiting researcher at Princeton University, succeeds his party colleague Kazuyoshi Akaba.

Minister for Reconstruction: Kosaburo Nishime, 67

Mr Nishime, a five-term lawmaker from his native Okinawa, succeeds Mr Katsuei Hirasawa in a portfolio centred on disaster-rebuilding Fukushima in his first Cabinet post.

National Public Safety Commission Chairman: Satoshi Ninoyu, 77

Mr Ninoyu, an Upper House lawmaker elected from Kyoto, will lead the National Public Safety Commission that oversees the police force in his first Cabinet post. He succeeds Mr Yasufumi Tanahashi, who ended up being a benchwarmer having only taken the position in June.

Minister-in-charge of 2025 Osaka World Expo: Kenji Wakamiya, 60

Tokyo-born Mr Wakamiya has been tasked to oversee preparations for the 2025 Osaka World Expo, succeeding Mr Shinji Inoue in a Cabinet post that was first created by Mr Suga.

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