Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi to take key position in ruling party


Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has chosen Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi for the ruling party’s No.2 position, a powerful role that includes policy making and campaign finance. Motegi will replace Akira Amari who has announced he will step down as secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) after his loss in Sunday’s lower house election.

Known for being well versed in political matters and on good terms with party elders such as former prime ministers Shinzo Abe and Taro Aso, Motegi will likely help Kishida maintain his grip on power within the party. His appointment is expected to be officially announced on Thursday.

The work of the general secretary of the ruling party exerts a huge influence on lawmakers, as the incumbent is responsible for financing campaigns and bringing back resistant members to rank. Motegi told reporters on Monday that one of his key tasks as the new secretary-general prepares for an upper house election slated for mid-next year.

Kishida led the LDP to better than expected election results on Sunday as the party retained its strong majority https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/japan-pm-kishida-surprises-with-comfortable – Election-win-2021-11-01 in the lower house. The loss of Amari was a notable setback for the party, although it retains a seat in parliament thanks to Japan’s system of proportional representation.

Kyodo News Agency and other media said Yoshimasa Hayashi, 60, had run for foreign minister, without citing sources. In addition to having been Minister of Defense, Hayashi has also held the portfolios of economy, education and agriculture.

On the opposition side, the leader of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ), Yukio Edano, said he would step down to take responsibility for Sunday’s election losses. The left-wing CDPJ lost 13 seats despite remaining Japan’s second-largest party. Japan’s smaller Innovation Party (JIP), which calls for deregulation and decentralization of power to boost growth, nearly quadrupled its gain to 41 seats in the 465-seat chamber.

Underlying the development of the fortunes of both parties, a poll of voters conducted this week by Kyodo showed support for the PIJ jumped to 14.4% from 5% a month ago, topping 11. 2% of the CDPJ to become the second most popular party in Japan behind the LDP. “We ended up having smaller seats than before, which is very unfortunate. It is only because of my inadequacy,” Edano said at a meeting of party leaders.

“I have decided that we have to head towards the upper house elections next year… under a new leader and in a new formation.”

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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