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Kyodo News

The Cabinet said Friday it has shuffled some members of its panel on boosting information technology-related measures, appointing new members from Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. and IBM Japan Ltd.

The IT Strategic Headquarters, which consists of all ministers of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s Cabinet and 10 experts, will hold a meeting with the new members next Friday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda told reporters.

Among the newly appointed experts are Norio Wada, president of Japan’s telecom giant, Takuma Otoshi, president of the Japanese arm of International Business Machines Corp. of the United States, and Hideo Sawada, mayor of Koizumi’s hometown of Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Fukuda said Sawada was appointed because the mayor heads a panel intended to beef up online systems at local municipalities in the Japan Association of City Mayors, denying Koizumi has inappropriately favored his constituency.

The panel was set up in January 2001 and its experts’ term is two years.

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