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Japan foreign minister Motegi to become ruling party secretary general

Japan foreign minister Motegi to become ruling party secretary general

Japan's Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi arrives at prime minister's office in Tokyo, Japan Oct 4, 2021. (File photo: REUTERS/Issei Kato)

TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida tapped Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi to take the ruling party's number two post, and former defence minister Yoshimasa Hayashi was floated in domestic media as a candidate for new foreign minister.

Akira Amari, the secretary-general of Kishida's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), expressed his intention to resign from the party post after suffering a defeat in his district in Sunday's (Oct 31) lower house election.

Motegi told reporters on Monday he had been asked to take up the post and had accepted the offer.

"Next year, soon after the ordinary session of parliament comes an upper house election. I was asked to do the job including that," he said.

One of the biggest tasks for the LDP secretary-general is to oversee the party's election-related activities.

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

The LDP, however, took some notable hits, including Amari's loss, although he still holds a parliament seat thanks to proportional representation.

Japan's Kyodo news agency and other media reported Hayashi, 60, has emerged as a candidate as a new foreign minister, without citing sources.

Beside having served as defence minister, the Harvard-educated Hayashi has also worked as economy, education and agriculture ministers.

Source: Reuters/dv

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