Industry minister Hagiuda set to head LDP policy research council in reshuffle

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, center, attends a meeting of Liberal Democratic Party executives at LDP headquarters in Tokyo on Monday.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida plans to appoint Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Koichi Hagiuda head of the Liberal Democratic Party’s Policy Research Council in the upcoming reshuffle, according to sources.

Minoru Terada, a special adviser to the prime minister who belongs to the Kishida faction, and Naoki Okada, chairperson of the LDP Diet Affairs Committee in the House of Councillors, are set to receive their first Cabinet posts.

Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki and Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Tetsuo Saito of the LDP’s coalition partner Komeito are expected to retain their posts.

Kishida, the LDP president, has reportedly decided his intention to retain LDP Vice President Taro Aso and Secretary General Toshimitsu Motegi.

Hagiuda belongs to the faction that was led by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and was close to Abe, who was fatally shot while campaigning in Nara last month.

In the reshuffle of LDP executive posts, Hiroshi Moriyama, executive acting chairperson of the party’s General Council, is expected to be appointed chairperson of the party’s Election Strategy Committee, and Toshiaki Endo, the current chair, is in line to become the General Council chairperson.

Moriyama is a faction leader who has been elected to the House of Representatives seven times. He has served as the agriculture, forestry and fisheries minister and the LDP Diet Affairs Committee chairperson, among other posts, and is close to former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

The appointment of Moriyama, who leads a nonmainstream faction, might be an attempt to establish an all-party executive line-up by Kishida, who has stressed the importance of party unity.

However, a senior LDP member said a party heavyweight should assume the post of LDP Election Strategy Committee chairperson as the person in the role will be responsible for intraparty coordination for a draft proposal on the rezoning of lower house constituencies.

Endo, a member of the Yurin-kai political group led by former LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki, is on good terms with Kishida.

Also close to former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, Endo has been elected to the lower house nine times and served as the minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.