Tokyo; Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, who has replaced outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as the new leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), on Tuesday picked veteran lawmakers to assume top posts in the new executive line-up.
Most notably, Suga opted to retain the services of LDP heavyweight Toshihiro Nikai in the key post of Secretary-General, reports Xinhua news agency.
Hiroshi Moriyama, another LDP veteran, will remain in his post as Diet Affairs Committee chairperson.
Informed sources said that both Nikai and Moriyama provided the most support to Suga during his LDP presidential campaign.
Meanwhile, Tsutomu Sato, a former communications minister, has been appointed as general counsel chairperson, the top role in the ruling party’s decision-making body, while Hakubun Shimomura, a former education minister, will remain in his post as Policy Research Council chairperson.
Taimei Yamaguchi, meanwhile, head of the Party Organization and Campaign Headquarters, was picked as Election Strategy Committee chairperson.
Seiko Noda and Tamayo Marukawa, two females, were selected as the party’s executive acting secretary-general and head of its Public Relations Headquarters, respectively.
Sources said, while both extremely capable lawmakers, the move to choose two females may have also been partly to answer critics of the LDP election campaign that saw no female lawmakers enter the race, despite the government’s supposed push for more females to be promoted to top roles in business and politics.
Suga filled the key posts in the new-look LDP leadership with veteran lawmakers from the five intra-party factions that supported him in his winning leadership race, guaranteeing his place as the nation’s next Prime Minister to be announced at an extraordinary Diet session on Wednesday.
On Monday, Suga was elected at a joint plenary meeting of party members from both houses of the Diet (Parliament) and delegates from local chapters.
He won 377 votes while the other two contenders, LDP policy chief Fumio Kishida and former Defence Minister Shigeru Ishiba garnered 89 and 68 votes, respectively.