Here are the profiles of members of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's new Cabinet:

Kishida, a known quantity in diplomacy, a self-claimed good listener
Fumio Kishida. (Kyodo)

Soft-spoken Prime Minister Fumio Kishida secured the current post at his second attempt and has navigated Japan through what he described as "historic" challenges posed by COVID-19 and Russia's war against Ukraine for the past 10 months in office.

Kishida, 65, has touted his ability to listen attentively to various opinions as a decision-maker, having served as policy chief of the Liberal Democratic Party. As foreign minister under former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, he helped realize a visit by then U.S. President Barack Obama to the atomic-bombed city of Hiroshima in 2016.

Kishida, a liberal-leaning politician in the conservative LDP, had been seen as a potential successor to Japan's longest-serving premier Abe but lost to Yoshihide Suga in the party leadership race in 2020. The third-generation politician was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1993 after working as a banker.


Education expert Matsuno is mild-mannered, guardian of Kishida gov't
Hirokazu Matsuno. (Kyodo)

Hirokazu Matsuno, who is staying on as chief Cabinet secretary, has placed priority on education issues during his political career.

Prior to becoming the top government spokesman, the mild-mannered Matsuno, 59, also assisted Prime Minister Fumio Kishida when he headed the Policy Research Council of the Liberal Democratic Party. The House of Representatives lawmaker belongs to an LDP faction led by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who picked him as education minister.

Matsuno was elected to the lower house in 2000 after studying at the Matsushita Institute of Government and Management, known as an incubator for young people aspiring to pursue political careers. Drawing on his advertisement experience in the private sector, he helped create government video clips, including one calling for COVID-19 vaccinations among young people.


Harvard-educated Foreign Minister Hayashi touted as future PM
Yoshimasa Hayashi. (Kyodo)

Harvard-educated Yoshimasa Hayashi, retained as foreign minister and belonging to a ruling Liberal Democratic Party faction led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, is touted as a potential candidate for Japan's future leader.

Hayashi won a single-seat district in the western prefecture of Yamaguchi in the 2021 House of Representatives election after serving as a member of the House of Councillors for 26 years since 1995. He had held many other key positions such as defense, agriculture and education ministers.

The 61-year-old enjoys playing instruments, including guitar and keyboards. He gave an impromptu piano rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine" during a dinner party of Group of Seven major developed nations' foreign ministerial meeting in Liverpool, England, in December last year.


New METI chief Nishimura known for fight against COVID-19
Yasutoshi Nishimura. (Kyodo)

Yasutoshi Nishimura, the new minister of economy, trade and industry, is known for having played a key role in Japan's fight against the novel coronavirus as a member of the Cabinet of former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

A former official at what is now the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Nishimura has also served as economic revitalization minister. He is a senior member of the Liberal Democratic Party's largest faction once led by the late former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Nishimura, 59, a seven-term House of Representatives member from Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan, ran in an LDP presidential race in 2009, when the party was not in power. But he was defeated by Sadakazu Tanigaki, a former finance minister.


Retained Finance Minister Suzuki builds good ties with Kishida
Shunichi Suzuki. (Kyodo)

Shunichi Suzuki, retained as finance minister, has built good relations with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida as he backed Kishida in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's presidential race in 2021.

Suzuki's father, the late former Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki, once led what is now Kishida's faction, the fourth biggest in the LDP, while Suzuki himself is a member of the LDP's third-largest faction led by Taro Aso, a former prime minister who is his brother-in-law.

Suzuki, a 69-year-old veteran representing a constituency in Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan, won his first House of Representatives seat in 1990 and served as environment minister, minister in charge of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, and chairman of the LDP's General Council.


New Defense Minister Hamada back in post after 13-yr hiatus
Yasukazu Hamada. (Kyodo)

New Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, a 10th-term House of Representatives member who is versed in security policies, returned to the post that he held for about a year until September 2009.

Hamada, 66, was first elected to the lower house from a constituency in Chiba Prefecture, near Tokyo, in 1993. Before that, he served as a secretary to his father, the late former lower house lawmaker Koichi Hamada, known as "Hamako" as he often caused a commotion through his words and actions.

Hamada is a vocalist in a band named "Gi!nz" which he created with three fellow lawmakers, including Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi. The band plays at charity concerts and other events.


Kato, ex-gov't spokesman, returns to post as health minister
Katsunobu Kato. (Kyodo)

Katsunobu Kato brings with him experience as health minister as he returns to his former post to face the challenges of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The 66-year-old Tokyo native served as chief Cabinet secretary in the previous administration of Yoshihide Suga after working as minister of health, labor and welfare in the Cabinet of his predecessor Shinzo Abe twice.

The House of Representatives member was elected from a constituency in Okayama Prefecture in western Japan. He has held other ministerial posts, including those in charge of tackling the issue of North Korea's abductions of Japanese nationals as well as promoting women's empowerment.


Agriculture minister Nomura has 35 yrs experience at farm cooperative
Tetsuro Nomura. (Kyodo)

Tetsuro Nomura, appointed as minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries in his first Cabinet post, is an expert on agricultural policy with around 35 years of experience at a farming cooperative.

After being elected to the House of Councillors in 2004, Nomura has also served as the parliamentary vice minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and the chair of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's agricultural and forestry division.

The 78-year-old spoke out on behalf of farmers when the administration of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe promoted agricultural cooperative reform as part of its growth strategy.


Environment Minister Akihiro Nishimura ally of late PM Abe
Akihiro Nishimura. (Kyodo)

Akihiro Nishimura, the new environment minister, is a six-term House of Representatives member who served as a deputy chief Cabinet secretary under slain former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Nishimura belongs to the Liberal Democratic Party's largest faction, which was headed by Abe before he was gunned down last month at a campaign event. It is the 62-year-old's first ministerial post.

Elected from Miyagi Prefecture in northeastern Japan, which was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011, he has been involved in reconstruction efforts. He previously served as a senior vice minister in the transport and infrastructure ministry.


Retained transport minister Saito is Komeito deputy
Tetsuo Saito. (Kyodo)

Tetsuo Saito, retained as transport minister, is the deputy leader of the Komeito party, the junior coalition partner of the Liberal Democratic Party, and known for being one of the most avid train enthusiasts in the political circle.

Since assuming the post of the minister of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism under the administration of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida last October, Saito has dealt with issues such as the April sinking of a tourist boat off the Shiretoko Peninsula in Hokkaido.

A former engineer with a doctoral degree, the 70-year-old researched the development of space at major construction firm Shimizu Corp. before first being elected to the House of Representatives in 1993. He previously served as environment minister and Komeito's secretary general and policy chief.


Nagaoka gets 1st Cabinet post as education minister
Keiko Nagaoka. (Kyodo)

Keiko Nagaoka, who secured her first Cabinet post as education minister, won her first House of Representatives seat in 2005 after the death of her husband and lower house member Yoji Nagaoka.

Nagaoka, 68, has promoted policies in global warming, child-rearing support, welfare and infectious diseases while serving as senior vice minister of health, labor and welfare and parliamentary vice minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries.

The new minister of education, culture, sports, science and technology is a sixth-term lower house member representing Ibaraki Prefecture and a member of the Liberal Democratic Party faction led by the party's vice president Taro Aso.


New internal affairs minister Terada supports nuclear cause
Minoru Terada. (Kyodo)

Minoru Terada, the new minister of internal affairs, has been a special adviser to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation.

As a Hiroshima native, whose mother endured the atomic bombing, Terada worked hard on the groundwork for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference held in New York earlier this month.

Terada worked as a bureaucrat in the Finance Ministry for 24 years. He was first elected to the lower house in 2004 from a constituency in Hiroshima. The 64-year-old has held such posts as the senior vice minister of internal affairs.


Digital minister Kono known for social media presence
Taro Kono. (Kyodo)

Touted as a potential future prime minister, new digital minister Taro Kono is known for his outspokenness and strong social media presence with over 2.4 million Twitter followers.

Until recently serving as head of the Liberal Democratic Party's Public Relations Headquarters, the 59-year-old lawmaker is known to be a reform-minded maverick within the conservative party, but has been less vocal about his signature policy positions such as phasing out nuclear energy.

A Georgetown University graduate, the ninth-term lower house member assumed key ministerial positions including foreign minister between 2017 and 2019 and communicated with his counterparts in fluent English. He subsequently served as defense minister and vaccination minister.


Economic security minister Takaichi channels former PM Abe
Sanae Takaichi. (Kyodo)

Sanae Takaichi, 61, named minister in charge of economic security, is a staunch conservative with political beliefs closely aligned with former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who was assassinated in July.

Most recently as the Liberal Democratic Party policy chief, Takaichi has stressed the need for measures against industrial espionage targeting advanced technologies held by Japanese companies.

The ninth-term member of the House of Representatives touts a strong relationship with Taiwan and backs amending Japan's pacifist Constitution. Her visits to Yasukuni shrine, a war-linked Shinto shrine in Tokyo seen as a symbol of Japan's past militarism in South Korea and China, have been criticized by the neighboring countries.


Economy minister and former vet Yamagiwa retains post
Daishiro Yamagiwa. (Kyodo)

Daishiro Yamagiwa has retained his post as economic revitalization minister after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida increased his responsibilities on Aug. 1 to include a ministerial post in charge of startups.

A sixth-term Liberal Democratic Party lower house member, Yamagiwa has previously served as senior vice minister of economy, trade and industry and acting chairman of the LDP Policy Research Council.

Before being elected to the House of Representatives in 2003, the 53-year-old Yamagiwa worked as a veterinarian.


New Reconstruction Minister Akiba strives to rebuild northeast Japan
Kenya Akiba. (Kyodo)

Kenya Akiba, the new reconstruction minister, has long endeavored to rebuild northeastern Japan having served as senior vice minister of reconstruction following the massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

A seven-term member of the House of Representatives, the native of Miyagi Prefecture is a graduate of the Matsushita Institute of Government and Management, a school established by Konosuke Matsushita, who also founded the forerunner of Panasonic Holdings Corp.

The 60-year-old lawmaker was reprimanded in February 2020 by the late former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after holding an event to celebrate the launch of a book despite the central government's call against such activities amid COVID-19. Akiba was then a special adviser to Abe.


New declining birthrate minister Ogura is LDP Youth Division head
Masanobu Ogura. (Kyodo)

Masanobu Ogura, tapped as minister in charge of tackling the declining birthrate, is a former Bank of Japan official who currently serves as director of the Youth Division of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

It is his first Cabinet posting since first being elected to the House of Representatives in 2012. Since entering politics, he has held posts such as parliamentary vice minister of internal affairs and communications.

Ogura, 41, is a fourth-term lower house member representing western Tokyo and a member of the LDP faction led by Toshihiro Nikai, a former secretary general.


Regional revitalization minister Okada known as aide to Abe, Suga
Naoki Okada. (Kyodo)

Naoki Okada, appointed regional revitalization minister in his first Cabinet posting, served as deputy chief Cabinet secretary under prime ministers Shinzo Abe and Yoshihide Suga.

Okada, re-elected to the House of Councillors from his electoral district in Ishikawa Prefecture for a fourth time in July, most recently served as the Diet affairs chief of the upper house caucus of the Liberal Democratic Party.

Okada, 60, was inspired to enter politics while covering North Korean abductions of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s as a reporter at the Hokkoku Shimbun, a regional newspaper based in his native Ishikawa on the Sea of Japan coast.


New public safety chief Tani motivated by Hanshin quake
Koichi Tani. (Kyodo)

Koichi Tani, the new chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, set his heart on becoming a lawmaker after experiencing the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995 while serving as an official in his home prefecture of Hyogo in western Japan.

Tani, 70, a seven-term member of the House of Representatives, has past stints as senior vice minister of reconstruction and endeavored to comfort the victims of the massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan.

Known for being straightforward, he reveres Takao Saito, a wartime politician who addressed the then Imperial Diet in 1940, questioning Japan's actions against China.


Justice Minister Hanashi has expertise in juvenile issues
Yasuhiro Hanashi. (Kyodo)

New Justice Minister Yasuhiro Hanashi is a former police bureaucrat who is known for his expertise in juvenile issues.

Hanashi, 62, played a central role in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in compiling a draft for revisions to the Juvenile Law, which took effect in April, and also spearheaded efforts in crafting a law to help victims of bank transfer scams.

A sixth-term House of Representatives lawmaker representing a constituency in Ibaraki Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo, Hanashi has held posts such as senior vice minister of justice and senior vice minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries.

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