New foreign minister has unusual background

The Yomiuri Shimbun/

Educated at Harvard University in the United States, Yoshimasa Hayashi was first elected to the House of Councillors in 1995. Before becoming foreign minister, he had served as defense minister; minister in charge of economic and fiscal policy; agriculture, forestry and fisheries minister; and education, culture, sports, science and technology minister.

He held an unprecedented number of cabinet posts for a member of the upper house, and he has expressed his desire to one day even become prime minister. Hayashi moved to the lower house for the first time with his election to the seat for Yamaguchi Prefecture’s No. 3 Constituency in last month’s House of Representatives election.

He writes music and is a member of a band made up of lawmakers.