Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, citing pressing problems at home and overseas, reshuffled his Cabinet on Oct. 1 by filling the new administration with lawmakers who supported him in the ruling party’s presidential election.
Noda replaced 10 ministers and kept eight, including Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada, Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba and Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto.
"In order to deal with the various issues that we face in Japan as well as abroad, there was a need to further deepen cooperation between the government and ruling parties and to strengthen the functioning of the Cabinet," Noda said at a news conference in explaining the purpose of the reshuffle.
Lawmakers in executive posts of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan were rewarded for supporting Noda in the election last month. They were Koriki Jojima, the former DPJ Diet affairs committee chairman who was named finance minister, Shinji Tarutoko, the acting secretary-general who was appointed internal affairs and communications minister, and Seiji Maehara, the DPJ policy chief who was named state minister in charge of national policy and economic and fiscal policy.
Makiko Tanaka was named education minister and Keishu Tanaka (no relation) was picked as justice minister. Both Tanakas also backed Noda in the party election.
Noda was easily re-elected DPJ chief, defeating Kazuhiro Haraguchi, a former internal affairs minister, and two former agriculture ministers, Michihiko Kano and Hirotaka Akamatsu. No lawmaker who supported Noda’s three challengers was given a Cabinet post.
During the news conference in which Noda personally read out the new Cabinet lineup, he said his administration would have to first deal with a number of issues left over from the previous Diet session, including passing legislation to issue new government bonds and revising the Lower House electoral system to narrow the disparity in the value of a single vote among electoral districts, which the Supreme Court has ruled as unconstitutional.
Noda also said he wanted to begin discussions on the simultaneous reform of the taxation and social security systems.
The prime minister initially planned to name Shozaburo Jimi, the head of junior coalition partner People's New Party, as state minister in charge of postal reform. However, discussions within the PNP led to the decision to have Mikio Shimoji, the PNP secretary-general, take on the Cabinet post.
The DPJ also named Yoshiaki Takaki, a former education minister, as chairman of the Lower House Rules and Administration Committee.
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Yoshihiko Noda, 55, Lower House, Noda group
Deputy Prime Minister in Charge of Total Reform of Social Security and Tax, and Civil Service Reform:
Katsuya Okada, 59, Lower House
Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications/ State Minister in Charge of Okinawa and Northern Territories:
Shinji Tarutoko, 53, Lower House
Justice Minister/ State Minister in Charge of Abduction Issue:
Keishu Tanaka, 74, Lower House, former DSP group
Koichiro Genba, 48, Lower House
Koriki Jojima, 65, Lower House
Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology:
Makiko Tanaka, 68, Lower House
Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare:
Wakio Mitsui, 69, Lower House
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries:
Akira Gunji, 62, Upper House
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry/ State Minister in Charge of Compensation for Nuclear Damage:
Yukio Edano, 48, Lower House, Maehara group
Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism:
Yuichiro Hata, 45, Upper House
Environment Minister/ State Minister in Charge of Nuclear Accident:
Hiroyuki Nagahama, 53, Upper House, Noda group
Satoshi Morimoto, 71
Chief Cabinet Secretary:
Osamu Fujimura, 62, Lower House, Noda group
State Minister in Charge of Reconstruction and Comprehensive Review of Measures in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake:
Tatsuo Hirano, 58, Upper House
National Public Safety Commission Chairman/ State Minister in Charge of Consumer Affairs and Food Safety:
Tadamasa Kodaira, 70, Lower House, former DSP and Hatoyama groups
State Minister in Charge of Financial Services/ State Minister in Charge of Measures for Declining Birthrate, New Public Commons and Gender Equality:
Ikko Nakatsuka, 47, Lower House
State Minister in Charge of National Policy, Economic and Fiscal Policy, Ocean Policy and Nuclear Power Policy and Administration:
Seiji Maehara, 50, Lower House, Maehara group
State Minister in Charge of Postal Reform and Disaster Management:
Mikio Shimoji, 51, Lower House, People's New Party
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