Shinzo Abe plans to introduce a White House-type appointment system to the Cabinet Secretariat when he becomes prime minister, paving the way for private-sector personnel to hold positions, sources close to him said Sunday.
Under the envisaged system, the Cabinet Secretariat will have the discretion to pick individuals, including those from the private sector, to fill positions at the rank of section chief, the sources said.
Abe has decided to adopt the political-appointee system to promote policy planning led by the prime minister, they said.
Under the current system, ministries and agencies loan out officials to fill staff positions at the Cabinet Secretariat. Critics say this has resulted in staff members giving priority to the interests of their original ministries and agencies.
Abe will submit a bill for the new system during the Diet session that opens this January, the sources said.
In the United States, the president appoints senior officials at the rank of bureau chief and higher, and most of them are replaced with a change in administrations.
Abe also plans to strengthen the power of advisers to the prime minister by sending an amendment to the Cabinet Law to the Diet, the sources said.
Elected president of the Liberal Democratic Party on Wednesday, he is set to be selected by the Diet as the new prime minister Tuesday. He currently serves as chief Cabinet secretary.
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