Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Kan picks new Foreign Minister

Kan picks new Foreign Minister

Affairs Takeaki Matsumoto as Japan's new Foreign Minister to succeed Seiji Maehara. Maehara resigned for illegally receiving political funds from a foreign resident of Japan.

Matsumoto became foreign state secretary when Kan formed his Cabinet last September.

The new foreign minister is said to have expert knowledge of financial, fiscal and security policies. He has held several executive posts in the ruling Democratic Party, including policy affairs chief.

He was first elected to the Lower House in 2000 after working as a secretary to his father, Juro Matsumoto, a former defense agency chief.

The prime minister apparently put priority on the continuation of foreign policies in picking Matsumoto to deal with such long-standing issues as the relocation of a US military base in Okinawa Prefecture and territorial disputes with Russia.

The decision was made rather swiftly in view of a crowded diplomatic calendar that includes next week's Group of Eight foreign ministerial talks in France.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011 01:45 +0900 (JST)