Abe returns as prime minister in special Diet session

December 26, 2012

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

Shinzo Abe was chosen prime minister in a special Diet session on Dec. 26, marking his return to Japan’s top post on a conservative agenda and promises to jump-start the stagnant economy.

Due to the overwhelming majority his Liberal Democratic Party gained in the Dec. 16 Lower House election, Abe, 58, easily won the vote for prime minister in the more powerful Diet chamber.

Abe was also selected prime minister in a second vote in the Upper House, where the LDP and its ally, New Komeito, do not hold a majority.

Abe will announce his Cabinet lineup after a meeting with New Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi.

Citing health problems, Abe resigned as prime minister five years ago after about a year in office.

The last prime minister to return to the post after stepping down was Shigeru Yoshida in the years shortly after World War II. Yoshida's second tenure lasted more than six years, during which time he paved the way for Japan's reconstruction.

Abe has promised to end deflation to spur economic growth. He has also vowed to revise Japan’s pacifist Constitution and upgrade the Self-Defense Forces into a national military, but he has recently softened his hard-line stance in Japan’s territorial and history disputes with China and South Korea.

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Lineup of Abe Cabinet

Prime Minister:

Shinzo Abe, 58, Lower House, LDP

Deputy Prime Minister/ Finance Minister/ State minister in charge of financial services:

Taro Aso, 72, Lower House, LDP

Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications:

Yoshitaka Shindo, 54, Lower House, LDP

Justice Minister:

Sadakazu Tanigaki, 67, Lower House, LDP

Foreign Minister:

Fumio Kishida, 55, Lower House, LDP

Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology:

Hakubun Shimomura, 58, Lower House, LDP

Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare:

Norihisa Tamura, 48, Lower House, LDP

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries:

Yoshimasa Hayashi, 51, Upper House, LDP

Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry:

Toshimitsu Motegi, 57, Lower House, LDP

Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism:

Akihiro Ota, 67, Lower House, New Komeito

Environment Minister/ State minister in charge of nuclear power:

Nobuteru Ishihara, 55, Lower House, LDP

Defense Minister:

Itsunori Onodera, 52, Lower House, LDP

Chief Cabinet Secretary:

Yoshihide Suga, 64, Lower House, LDP

State minister in charge of reconstruction:

Takumi Nemoto, 61, Lower House, LDP

National Public Safety Commission Chairman/ State minister in charge of solidifying social infrastructure:

Keiji Furuya, 60, Lower House, LDP

State minister in charge of economic rebirth and comprehensive reform:

Akira Amari, 63, Lower House, LDP

State minister in charge of Okinawa and Northern Territories:

Ichita Yamamoto, 54, Upper House, LDP

State minister in charge of administrative reform:

Tomomi Inada, 53, Lower House, LDP

State minister in charge of measures for declining birth rate:

Masako Mori, 48, Upper House, LDP

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
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Shinzo Abe at the Diet on Dec. 26 (Hiroyuki Yamamoto)

Shinzo Abe at the Diet on Dec. 26 (Hiroyuki Yamamoto)

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  • Shinzo Abe at the Diet on Dec. 26 (Hiroyuki Yamamoto)

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