Sunday, November 4, 2018

The Ministers of Abe's Fifth Cabinet


On October 2, 2018, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reshuffled his Cabinet. Of the 19 Cabinet Ministers in his Fifth Cabinet, eight (42.1%) were re-appointed from the previous Cabinet and eleven (57.8%) are new. 

This Cabinet is measurably more conservative than his previous ones. The usual metric is memberships or affiliations with various Diet Leagues, especially the Diet Members’ League for the Shinto Association of Spiritual Leadership [Shinto League] (also can be translated as Shinto Political Alliance Diet Member’s Roundtable; 神道政治連盟国会議員懇談会-Shintou seiji renmei kokkai giin kondankai) and the Diet Members’ Gathering (League) for the Japan Conference, [Nippon Kaigi] (also can be translated as Diet Representative ‘Japan Conference’ Roundtable;日本会議国会議員懇談会- Nippon kaigi kokkai giin kondankai). 

Both organizations advocate revising the constitution to return Shinto as the state religion and the Emperor to political power. They oppose the current Constitution support of individual rights, women's rights, and freedom of speech. They advocate a moral education and respect for Japan's past, while rejecting any Japanese involvement in war crimes.

Only one Minister is a member of neither League: Keiichi ISHII, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. He is from the Komeito Party that is associated with the Buddhist religious group, Sokka Gakkai. The party has been a coalition partner with the LDP since 1999. There is one member of the U.S. Congress who is a Sokka Gakkai member.

Taro KONO, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Masatoshi ISHIDA, Minister for International Affair and Communications; Yoshiaki HARADA, Minister of the Environment; and Takuya HIRAI, Minister for Information Technology Policy, although members of the Shinto League, are not members of the Nippon Kaigi.

There is only one female minister: Satsuki KATAYAMA, Minister of State for Regional Revitalization. In Abe's previous Cabinet (4th) there were four female ministers and in his 3rd, two.

★ New cabinet member
❇︎ Past affiliation with Shinto League, but not in recent years

Position First Name Last Name Shinto League Nippon Kaigi
Prime Minister Shinzo ABE
Minister of Finance Taro ASO
Minister for Internal Affair and Communications Masatoshi ISHIDA ★
Minister of Justice Takashi YAMASHITA★
Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro KONO
Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology Masahiko SHIBAYAMA ★
Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Takumi NEMOTO ✔ ❇︎
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Takamori YOSHIKAWA ★
Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Hiroshige SEKO
Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Keiichi ISHII
Minister of the Environment Yoshiaki HARADA ★
Minister of Defense Takeshi IWAYA ★
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide SUGA
Minister for Reconstruction Hiromichi WATANABE ★
Chairperson of the National Public Safety Commission Junzo YAMAMOTO ★
Minister for Promoting Dynamic Engagement of All Citizens Mitsuhiro MIYAKOSHI ★
Minister in charge of Information Technology Policy Takuya HIRAI ★
Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Toshimitsu MOTEGI
Minister of State for Regional Revitalization Satsuki KATAYAMA ★
Minister in charge of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Yoshitaka KATAYAMA ★

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