Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi was decked out in a red “power suit” Friday, which usually means she plans to make an important, usually bad, announcement, such as sacking staff involved in scandals.

But this time, the move was to wish Japan’s soccer team well in the World Cup.

Kawaguchi, who usually opts for elegant but sober colors such as pale blue, beige and gray, wears bright red on important occasions. When she was environment minister, she often wore green.

The occasions when she wore red included the Feb. 2 meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, her first talks with a foreign counterpart, held just one day after she assumed her post following the dismissal of her predecessor, Makiko Tanaka.

Kawaguchi also opted for red Feb. 22, when she removed ministry officials Masaru Sato and Toshinori Shigeie from their posts for their close ties with scandal-tainted lawmaker Muneo Suzuki.

Then again donning red March 4, Kawaguchi announced the results of the ministry’s in-house probe into Suzuki’s meddling into its affairs, calling his relations with bureaucrats “abnormal.” Red was her color of choice April 2 when she sacked Kazuhiko Togo, the ambassador to the Netherlands, for his close ties with Suzuki and for “causing confusion” in Japan’s Russian policy. She also punished 33 other ministry officials that day.

Therefore it was only natural that Kawaguchi’s appearance after Friday’s Cabinet meeting — in a bright double-breasted red jacket with black skirt — led to speculation by reporters that she might announce punishments for officials involved in the recent incident in China in which five North Korean asylum seekers were dragged out of the Japanese Consulate General in Shenyang by Chinese police.

But at a House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee session in the morning, Kawaguchi said she wore red because she wants Japan to win the World Cup.

“Cohosting the World Cup is a very delightful thing, but once on the pitch, Japan must win,” Kawaguchi said. “I wore red today in the hope that the Japanese team will win the World Cup.”

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