• Kyodo News


Akira Kitamura was appointed Tuesday as the new director general of the Equal Employment, Children and Families Bureau to replace Atsuko Muraki, who is under arrest for allegedly abusing a postage discount system for the disabled.

Kitamura, 53, who joined the old Health and Welfare Ministry in 1979, served as deputy director general of the bureau before taking the new post.

Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Yoichi Masuzoe told a news conference the replacement was made quickly because “we face a mountain of challenges, such as how to counter a declining birthrate.”

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