Next Japanese Prime Minister Kishida to Create New Ministerial Post for Economic Security

Former Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida poses for a portrait following his press conference at Liberal Democratic Party headquarters following his election as party chair in Tokyo on September 29, 2021. (Du Xiaoyi / Pool Photo via AP)

TOKYO (Kyodo) – Future Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida plans to create a new ministerial post for economic security in a veiled struggle against alleged technology theft from China, 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.

Kishida plans to offer Minister of Education Koichi Hagiuda and Minister of Justice Yoko Kamikawa, both senior officials of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, in a new cabinet, according to political sources.

Kishida, who is on track to take the post of prime minister after winning the PLD presidential election on Wednesday, is also considering retaining Transport Minister Kazuyoshi Akaba, an MP belonging to Komeito, the junior coalition partner of the PLD. , 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 commerce, either as minister of economic and fiscal policy or also as 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.

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