Katsusada Hirose, 59, vice minister at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, will retain his job after the ministry’s routine personnel reshuffle on July 2, effectively entering his third year in the post, it was learned on Monday.

Hirose became the top administrative official at the trade ministry in September 1999, and the latest decision means he will likely stay in the post beyond September. Although it is rare for a person to hold the post more than two years, officials said Hirose’s reappointment is aimed at maintaining continuity in policy matters such as structural reform of the economy.

Hirokazu Hayashi, 53, director general for Natural Resources and Energy Policy, will become director general for Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau as of July 2.

Hideji Sugiyama, 53, director general for Commerce and Distribution Policy, will be appointed to director general for the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency on the same day.

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