Abe Cabinet (As of Sept. 11, 2019)

Prime minister Shinzo Abe
Deputy prime minister, finance minister Taro Aso*
Internal affairs and communications minister Sanae Takaichi
Justice minister Katsuyuki Kawai
Foreign minister Toshimitsu Motegi
Education, culture, sports, science and technology minister Koichi Hagiuda
Health, labor and welfare minister Katsunobu Kato
Agriculture, forestry and fisheries minister Taku Eto
Economy, trade and industry minister Isshu Sugawara
Land, infrastructure, transport and tourism minister Kazuyoshi Akaba
Environment minister Shinjiro Koizumi
Defense minister Taro Kono
Chief Cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga*
Reconstruction minister Kazunori Tanaka
National Public Safety Commission chairman Ryota Takeda
Minister for promoting dynamic engagement of all citizens Seiichi Eto
Minister for science and technology Naokazu Takemoto
Economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura
Minister for regional revitalization Seigo Kitamura
Minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games Seiko Hashimoto
Deputy chief Cabinet secretaries Akihiro Nishimura
Naoki Okada
Kazuhiro Sugita
Director-general, Cabinet Legislation Bureau Masaharu Kondo
* Reappointments

 


PRIME MINISTER

Shinzo Abe

Age: 64
Party: LDP
Electoral district: Lower House; Yamaguchi No. 4 (ninth term)

Back to top


DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER; FINANCE MINISTER

Taro Aso

Age: 78
Party: LDP (Aso faction)
Electoral district: Lower House; Fukuoka No. 8 (13th term)

Aso, who was re-appointed as finance and deputy prime minister, is one of only two Cabinet ministers to hold the same post since December 2012 — when Abe began his second stint as prime minister — along with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, who is also a close ally of the prime minister.

Aso has been considered a main pillar of the Abe administration, and the prime minister has often consulted Aso when making critical political decisions, including whether to dissolve the Lower House to call for a snap election.

Aso has survived numerous gaffes as well as opposition calls for his resignation in the wake of the Moritomo Gakuen cronyism scandal.

He heads the second largest intraparty faction with 55 members and has closely supported Abe’s Cabinet.

Back to top


INTERNAL AFFAIRS AND COMMUNICATIONS MINISTER

Sanae Takaichi

Age: 58
Party: LDP (No faction)
Electoral district: Lower House; Nara No. 2 (eighth term)

Takaichi returns to the Cabinet as internal affairs minister, having previously held the post from 2014 to 2017 under Abe’s leadership.

Known for her conservative leanings, Takaichi made headlines during her first stint in the post for repeatedly visiting the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, which enshrines about 2.46 million war dead including Class-A war criminals, defying protests from China and South Korea.

Takaichi also stirred controversy in 2016 when she suggested that the government can legally order broadcasters to suspend operations if they continue to ignore official calls to remain “politically neutral,” as stipulated in the broadcasting law.

Her remark ignited widespread criticism at the time, with many interpreting it as verging on the repression of press freedom.

Back to top


JUSTICE MINISTER

Katsuyuki Kawai

Age: 56
Party: LDP (No faction)
Electoral district: Lower House; Hiroshima No. 3 (seventh term)

Kawai is best known as a special adviser and close aide to Abe, and it was he who laid the groundwork for a meeting between the prime minister and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in New York in November 2016.

Kawai, whom the daily Nikkei dubbed one of Abe’s five most important aides behind the scenes, met multiple times with Trump’s transition team to help secure a stable bilateral security alliance once he was sworn in.

It is the first time Kawai has been appointed to a Cabinet post. He served as deputy justice minister during Abe’s first stint as prime minister. A graduate of Keio University, Kawai started his political career in 1991 as a member of the Hiroshima Prefectural Assembly. He was elected to the Diet for the first time in 1996. He subsequently lost his seat in 2000, but was re-elected in 2003.

Back to top


FOREIGN MINISTER

Toshimitsu Motegi

Age: 63
Party: LDP (Takeshita faction)
Electoral district: Lower House; Tochigi No. 5 (ninth term)

Before being appointed as foreign minister, Motegi was tasked with handling one of the most pressing and laborious issues for the Abe administration: reaching a trade agreement with the United States.

Motegi was Tokyo’s chief negotiator with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and through multiple rounds of negotiations over the course of about a year — an unusually short time frame for a major trade deal — the two countries reached an agreement “in principle” at the Group of Seven summit in France in August.

He also played a central role in concluding the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership last year.

“Japan has to exert leadership to defend the free trade system through various ways, including expansion of the TPP and Japan-U.S. trade talks,” Motegi wrote on his website on Jan. 1.

Back to top


EDUCATION, CULTURE, SPORTS, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY MINISTER

Koichi Hagiuda

Age: 56
Party: LDP (Hosoda faction)
Electoral district: Lower House; Tokyo No. 24 (fifth term)

This marks the first ministerial role for Hagiuda, who had been serving as a deputy chief Cabinet secretary.

Hagiuda, the LDP’s executive deputy secretary-general, is a close aide to Abe and served as his special adviser from 2013 to 2015.

At 27, he became the youngest person to hold a seat in the Hachioji Municipal Assembly, and then ran successfully for a seat in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly in 2002, before winning his first seat in the Lower House in 2003. He became the deputy chief Cabinet secretary in the third Abe Cabinet. Hagiuda, who is affiliated with the nationalist lobby Nippon Kaigi, is widely seen as a conservative within the LDP.

He drew criticism in May 2018 when he said that children under the age of 2 should be raised at home by their mothers.

Back to top


HEALTH, LABOR AND WELFARE MINISTER

Katsunobu Kato

Age: 63
Party: LDP (Takeshita faction)
Electoral district: Lower House; Okayama No. 5 (sixth term)

A close aide to Abe, Kato returns to the Cabinet as the head of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry after spending just over a year in the post through to October 2018.

Kato turned heads last year when he replaced LDP veteran Wataru Takeshita as head of the party’s decision-making general council, one of three key party posts that are rarely given to a lawmaker who is only in his sixth term in office. Media reports have said Abe considers Kato a future candidate for party leadership.

A graduate of the University of Tokyo with a degree in economics, Kato worked for the Finance Ministry from 1979 to 1995. He married a daughter of former farm minister Mutsuki Kato, who had close ties with Abe’s father, former Foreign Minister Shintaro Abe, and changed his last name to Kato.

Back to top


AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES MINISTER

Taku Eto

Age: 59
Party: LDP (No faction)
Electoral district: Lower House; Miyazaki No. 2 (sixth term)

Eto has served as a special aide to the prime minister since 2018.

Versed in agricultural topics, Eto was the party’s director of the Agriculture and Forestry Division. In October 2012, he was selected as agriculture minister in the LDP’s shadow Cabinet, but following the party’s landslide victory that year, he was appointed to the post of state minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries.

The son of late LDP politician Takami Eto, he was elected for the first time to the Lower House in 2003.

He was among the strongest opponents of Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

In August 2017, he was appointed the head of a task force to deal with an influenza outbreak in Japan.

Back to top


ECONOMY, TRADE AND INDUSTRY MINISTER

Isshu Sugawara

Age: 57
Party: LDP (No faction)
Electoral district: Lower House; Tokyo No. 9 (sixth term)

Sugawara makes his debut as a Cabinet minister as the head of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

The lawmaker will face various daunting tasks as a rookie minister, most notably the trade issue with South Korea that has been riled up over Japan’s tighter export controls.

Sugawara’s political career began in 1991 when he won an assembly seat in his hometown of Nerima Ward, Tokyo. After serving as a Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly member, Sugawara became a national lawmaker in 2003.

In the LDP, he served as deputy secretary-general and also headed the party’s economy and industry, and fiscal policy teams. Sugawara worked as a deputy industry minister from December 2012 to September 2013 and became deputy finance minister in 2014.

Back to top


LAND, INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT AND TOURISM MINISTER

Kazuyoshi Akaba

Age: 61
Party: Komeito
Electoral district: Lower House; Hyogo No. 2 (eighth term)

Akaba, a former Komeito deputy policy chief, takes over the portfolio that has been held by Komeito since December 2012, when Abe became prime minister for the second time.

Born in Tokyo, Akaba graduated from Keio University and was first elected to the Lower House in 1993, after working for trading house Mitsui & Co. for a decade, during which he was posted in Taiwan and China.

As a rookie lawmaker, Akaba experienced firsthand the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake, which ravaged the city of Kobe and surrounding areas. He criticized the government for its slow response to the disaster. He has served as chairman of Lower House’s land and transport committee.

Back to top


ENVIRONMENT MINISTER

Shinjiro Koizumi

Age: 38
Party: LDP (No faction)
Electoral district: Lower House; Kanagawa No. 11 (fourth term)

Koizumi, a rising political star and son of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, will take on the role of environment minister with his first Cabinet post.

Known for his good looks, charm, and eloquence, he is extremely popular with the public. Polls indicate that many would like to see Koizumi succeed Abe as prime minister, despite his youth and lack of major political achievements thus far.

He made headlines last month when he unexpectedly announced his engagement to TV personality Christel Takigawa.

Koizumi recently served as head of the party’s health and labor committee, advocating for a better social welfare system that will support all generations. He has also been a political rebel and vocal critic of the Abe administration at times, even voting for Abe’s rival Shigeru Ishiba during last year’s LDP presidential race.

Back to top


DEFENSE MINISTER

Taro Kono

Age: 56
Party: LDP (Aso faction)
Electoral district: Lower House; Kanagawa No. 15 (eighth term)

A graduate of Georgetown University, Kono, who is leaving his post as foreign minister, is known for his good command of the English language, often speaking with foreign leaders without using interpreters to give him twice as much time to talk to them.

Notably, during a meeting with South Korean Ambassador Nam Gwan-pyo in Tokyo in July, Kono criticized the ambassador for being “extremely rude,” a highly unusual remark at a high-level diplomatic meeting.

Kono has drawn both praise and criticism as foreign minister.

Over the past two years, he visited as many as 77 countries and regions in a bid to boost ties with those countries. But major media outlets questioned the purpose of his trips, arguing that many of those visits led to few substantial achievements.

Back to top


CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY

Yoshihide Suga

Age: 70
Party: LDP (No faction)
Electoral district: Lower House; Kanagawa No. 2 (eighth term)

A close ally of the prime minister, Suga has supported his administration as the top government spokesman since Abe retook office in December 2012, making him the longest-serving chief Cabinet secretary ever.

Suga’s popularity soared in April when he unveiled the new imperial era name, Reiwa (“Beautiful Harmony”), in a much-anticipated news conference, earning himself a nickname: “Reiwa Ojisan” (“Uncle Reiwa”). His image makeover, coupled with what was touted as his “diplomacy debut” in May with a visit to Washington to meet top U.S. officials, built speculation he might be aspiring to replace Abe as prime minister — although Suga has repeatedly denied he harbors such an ambition.

He is also known for what some consider to be the heavy-handed manner in which he intervenes with appointments of top bureaucrats.

Back to top


RECONSTRUCTION MINISTER

Kazunori Tanaka

Age: 70
Party: LDP (Aso faction)
Electoral district: Lower House; Kanagawa No. 10 (eighth term)

A former deputy finance minister, Tanaka has been tapped as minister in charge of reconstruction efforts in disaster-hit Tohoku.

It is his first time assuming a ministerial portfolio, at last pulling him out of what is known in Nagatacho as the “Cabinet post waiting list,” which refers to party lawmakers who have been elected five times or more but have not served as a Cabinet minister.

Tanaka belongs to the LDP’s intraparty faction headed by political heavyweight Taro Aso, who reportedly pushed for Tanaka to be given a Cabinet position in negotiations with Abe.

While working as a lawmaker, Tanaka also has long served as a voluntary probation officer, or hogoshi. This background helped him land a role as head of the LDP’s 2014 internal panel tasked with reining in recidivism and facilitating prisoners’ swift reintegration into society.

Back to top


NATIONAL PUBLIC SAFETY COMMISSION CHAIRMAN

Ryota Takeda

Age: 51
Party: LDP (Nikai faction)
Electoral district: Lower House; Fukuoka No. 11 (sixth term)

Takeda has been a Diet member since 2003, when he was elected for the first time after a decade of trying. He has indicated support for legislation curbing hate speech, and opposition to a reigning empress and the introduction of a system allowing married couples to keep separate surnames.

Takeda has experience in security and defense-related positions, having served as deputy defense minister from 2013 until 2014. He also served as chairman of the Lower House security committee between 2012 and 2013

In 2014, he proposed that tilt rotor CV-22 Osprey aircraft for the Self-Defense Forces be deployed at Saga Airport, in Saga Prefecture, which is located next to his Fukuoka constituency, triggering strong local opposition.

Back to top


MINISTER FOR PROMOTING DYNAMIC ENGAGEMENT OF ALL CITIZENS

Seiichi Eto

Age: 71
Party: LDP (Nikai faction)
Electoral district: Upper House; proportional representation (third term); served four terms in Lower House

This is the first Cabinet post for Eto, who has served as a special adviser to Abe since 2012 on issues including educational reform and the low birthrate. He will also become the state minister in charge of Okinawa and Northern Territories affairs.

At 25, Eto became the youngest person to be elected to the Oita Municipal Assembly in 1973. Six years later, he became a member of the prefectural assembly, serving two terms. He first won a seat in the Lower House in 1990.

Known as a conservative politician, Eto has pledged to promote a patriotic education system and is also an advocate of constitutional revision, a long-held goal of Abe.

Back to top


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY MINISTER

Naokazu Takemoto

Age: 78
Party: LDP (Kishida faction)
Electoral district: Lower House; Osaka No. 15 (eighth term)

Takemoto, a former deputy finance minister, is well known in Osaka as an opponent of efforts to merge the city and prefecture, and was a key player in the successful 2025 World Expo bid.

In response to a questionnaire by the Mainichi Shimbun in 2017, Takemoto said he was opposed to revising the Constitution, one of Abe’s long-held goals. In the same survey, he said he can’t trust U.S. President Donald Trump.

He also supports the introduction of casinos, with Osaka seen as a front-runner to land a so-called integrated resort. He has served in a variety of party posts, including as chair of an LDP committee supporting the maglev shinkansen.

Takemoto studied at the University of California, Berkeley from 1969 to 1970, and at Columbia University from 1970 to 1971.

Back to top


ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION MINISTER

Yasutoshi Nishimura

Age: 56
Party: LDP (Hosoda faction)
Electoral district: Lower House; Hyogo No. 9 (sixth term)

A close aide to Abe, Nishimura joined the trade ministry in 1985 as a career-track elite bureaucrat. While at the ministry, Nishimura also studied at the University of Maryland and earned a master’s degree in public policy in 1992.

He turned to politics because he felt there was “a limit to what I can do as a bureaucrat,” according to his website. He was first elected to the Lower House as an independent in 2003 and later joined the LDP. He was defeated by Sadakazu Tanigaki in the party’s 2009 presidential race.

Nishimura has held such positions as state minister of the Cabinet Office, parliamentary vice minister for foreign affairs and deputy chairperson of the LDP’s Policy Research Council.

His hobbies include exploring secluded regions, watching movies and running.

Back to top


REGIONAL REVITALIZATION MINISTER

Seigo Kitamura

Age: 72
Party: LDP (Kishida faction)
Electoral district: Lower House; Nagasaki No. 4 (seventh term)

This is Kitamura’s first Cabinet post, earning the role of regional revitalization minister after a long stint in local assemblies in Nagasaki.

Kitamura got involved in politics early on in life. After graduating from Waseda University, he was a live-in student and secretary for Nikichi Shirahama, a former postal services minister and LDP lawmaker. He was a Sasebo Municipal Assembly member for one term and a Nagasaki Prefectural Assembly member for four terms before being elected to the Lower House for the first time in 2000.

Kitamura, a Christian, served as deputy defense minister between 2008 and 2009, and as parliamentary vice minister at the then-Defense Agency between 2004 and 2005. Most recently, he served as vice chairman of the party’s decision-making general council.

Back to top


TOKYO OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC GAMES MINISTER

Seiko Hashimoto

Age: 54
Party: LDP (Hosoda faction)
Electoral district: Upper House; proportional representation (fifth term)

This marks the first ministerial role for Hashimoto, who takes on a fitting post having won a bronze medal in speed skating at the 1992 Winter Olympics and competed in a total of seven Winter and Summer Games.

Born in northern Hokkaido, Hashimoto started skating at the age of 3. She took part in Olympics from 1984 to 1996, competing in both speed skating and track cycling. She was first elected to the Upper House in 1995, but continued to compete until retiring after the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta.

With the latest appointment, she said she would resign from her various sports-related positions, including as the vice president of the Japanese Olympic Committee.

Back to top