Japan PM says he may act as foreign minister until new cabinet is formed

  • World
  • Thursday, 04 Nov 2021

Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, November 2, 2021. Adrian Dennis/Pool via REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) -Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Thursday he may take on the role of foreign minister until a new cabinet is formed this month, as the incumbent foreign minister took over a key ruling party post.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) officially confirmed on Thursday Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/japan-foreign-minister-motegi-become-ruling-party-secretary-general-2021-11-02 as the party's secretary-general, the party's number two post and a powerful role that includes shaping policy.

"Until the new cabinet, I am thinking of working as foreign minister as well," Kishida, who previously served as foreign minister, told reporters.

Kishida led the LDP to better-than-expected election results https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/japan-votes-test-new-pm-kishida-political-stability-2021-10-30 on Sunday, with the party retaining its strong majority in the lower house.

Motegi said he would focus on tasks such as recovery of the pandemic-hit economy and party reform to enhance diversity, vowing to drive policy with speed.

"It is very important to show the LDP is changing, as we implement what we can do fast, while presenting the big picture," Motegi said.

He said the ruling party would discuss details for extra budget with its junior coalition partner to create "rich, fulfilling" economic measures.

The parliament is set to convene a special session on Nov. 10 to confirm Kishida as prime minister. He is expected to name a new cabinet, which is likely to remain largely unchanged except for the post of foreign minister, shortly afterwards.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park and Elaine Lies; Editing by Richard Pullin, Robert Birsel)

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