Next Japanese Prime Minister Kishida to Create Minister of Economic Security to Counter China

Future Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida plans to create a new ministerial post for economic security in a veiled counterattack to China’s alleged theft of technology, sources familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

Kishida, who will launch his cabinet after being elected prime minister at the start of an extraordinary Diet session on Monday, is also considering appointing an adviser to the prime minister on the issue, the sources said.

It was not immediately clear who will take office, but the new minister is expected to develop a national strategy designed to block a technology leak from the country.

Fumio Kishida, the new leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in Japan, leaves the party headquarters in Tokyo on the evening of October 2, 2021. (Kyodo)

After taking office, Kishida plans to dissolve the House of Representatives on October 14 and a general election is expected to be held on November 7, government and ruling party sources said.

With the plan, the campaign for the general election is expected to begin on Oct. 26 with voting and counting on Nov. 7, the sources said.

However, the campaign could also start on November 2 with the vote on November 14, as Kishida intends to attend the Group of 20 major economies summit on October 30 and 31 in Rome, according to the sources.

If the official start of the campaign is set for October 26, the period would coincide with the G-20 summit.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday in Kagoshima, southwestern Japan, Hiroshi Moriyama, chairman of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s regime affairs committee, said the general election would likely be held on November 7.

A senior government official said separately that the government would have a tight schedule to compile the state budget for fiscal year 2022 if the vote were to take place on November 14.

According to the sources, Kishida, who is set to take the post of prime minister after winning the LDP presidential election on Wednesday, will soon make a decision on the dates for the official start of the campaign and the election.

Earlier on Saturday, LDP coalition partner Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi called on Kishida to dissolve the lower house at the end of the Diet session on October 14.

With the current four-year terms of members of the lower house due to expire on October 21, Kishida has the option of dissolving the chamber or letting them fulfill their terms before holding the general election.

After launching his government, the new prime minister plans to deliver his first political speech to the Diet next Friday and answer questions from other party leaders from October 11 to 13, according to government officials.

As he promised during the LDP leadership race, Kishida is expected to call on government officials to craft an economic package worth tens of billions of yen with the aim of strengthening the affected economy. the coronavirus pandemic.

After the general election, the Kishida government plans to enact a supplementary budget for fiscal year 2021 and develop the budget for fiscal year 2022.

Kishida plans to offer Minister of Education Koichi Hagiuda, Minister of Justice Yoko Kamikawa and Minister of Defense Nobuo Kishi, all senior PLD lawmakers, in a new cabinet, according to political sources.

Kishida is also considering retaining Transport Minister Kazuyoshi Akaba, a Komeito lawmaker, the sources said.

Meanwhile, Kishida plans to give ministerial posts to five PLD lawmakers – Satoshi Ninoyu, Kozaburo Nishime, Shinsuke Suematsu, Yasushi Kaneko and Shigeyuki Goto.

Speaking to reporters after meeting on Saturday with Hirokazu Matsuno, a former education minister whom Kishida decided to appoint as his chief cabinet secretary, and other assistants at LDP headquarters, the new chief said he planned to finalize the composition of the Cabinet on Sunday.

The new LDP leader is also expected to appoint Shunichi Suzuki, former environment minister, as finance minister and retain Toshimitsu Motegi as foreign minister.

Kishida plans to appoint Daishiro Yamagiwa, former vice minister of trade, either minister of economic and fiscal policy or minister of economy, trade and industry.

Earlier on Saturday, Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi called on Kishida to dissolve the House of Representatives at the end of the Diet session on October 14.

Yamaguchi’s appeal, made during a visit to Hokkaido, coincides with speculations from people close to Kishida that he is likely to dissolve the lower house on October 14 for a general election on November 7 or 14.

With the current four-year terms of members of the lower house due to expire on October 21, Kishida has the option of dissolving the chamber or letting them fulfill their terms before holding the general election.


Associated coverage:

Japan’s next Prime Minister Kishida is expected to dissolve the lower house on October 14

Suzuki will be Japan’s chief financial officer, Motegi will remain foreign minister

Next Japanese Prime Minister Kishida holds key ruling party positions with Abe allies


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