Fumio Kishida was named the 100th Prime Minister of Japan as he prepared to form a government focused on tackling growing threats to China’s economy and national security.
Kishida won a hotly contested four-man race to succeed Yoshihide Suga last week as agents of power within the ruling Liberal Democrats backed the 64-year-old former foreign minister’s pledge to maintain continuity and political stability.
In line with his victory in the leadership race, the makeup of Koshida’s cabinet suggested his priority was to reward the many factions that had supported him, analysts said, which resulted in critical positions for them. allies of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Minister of Finance Taro Aso.
Aso, 81, will be replaced for the first time in nine years, with his brother-in-law Shunichi Suzuki taking over the finance portfolio. Abe’s younger brother, Nobuo Kishi, will remain Minister of Defense, while his goof-prone ally, Education Minister Koichi Hagiuda, will be appointed Minister of Commerce.
Kishida chose Takayuki Kobayashi, the 46-year-old former Parliamentary Deputy Minister of Defense, for the newly created post of Minister of Economic Security, a landmark appointment that has delivered on his promise to recruit a younger generation of political leaders.
Working closely with Akira Amari, the new secretary general of the PLD, Kobayashi is expected to focus on strategies to address risks related to China such as the semiconductor supply chain, cybersecurity and intellectual property.