Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi to become General Secretary of ruling party


New Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi arrives at the Prime Minister’s office in Tokyo, Japan on October 4, 2021. REUTERS / Issei Kato / File Photo

TOKYO, Nov. 2 (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called on Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi to take the No. 2 position in the ruling party, and former Defense Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi was featured in the national media as a candidate for the post of new Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Akira Amari, general secretary of Kishida’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), has expressed his intention to step down from the party post after suffering a defeat in his district in Sunday’s lower house elections.

Motegi told reporters on Monday that he was invited to the post and accepted the offer.

“Next year, shortly after the regular session of parliament, there will be an election to the upper house. I was asked to do the job, including this,” he said.

One of the most important tasks of the general secretary of the LDP is to supervise the electoral activities of the party.

Kishida defied expectations and led the PLD to a resounding election victory on Sunday, when the party managed to retain its strong majority in the powerful lower house.

The LDP, however, has taken some notable hits, including the loss of Amari, although he still holds a seat in parliament thanks to proportional representation.

Japan’s Kyodo news agency and other media reported that Hayashi, 60, ran as a candidate for the new foreign minister, without citing any sources.

In addition to being Minister of Defense, Hayashi, who was trained at Harvard, also worked as Ministers of Economy, Education and Agriculture.

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Lincoln Feast.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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