The government formally decided Tuesday to launch the Cabinet Bureau of Personnel Affairs on Friday and Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato will serve as its director general, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.

The creation of the new bureau and the appointment of Kato, one of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's the closest aides, is seen as another political maneuver by Abe to tighten his grip on powerful government bureaucrats.

The bureau will serve as the secretariat for the prime minister to decide the appointments of about 600 elite bureaucrats at ministries and agencies of the central government, including vice ministers and bureau chiefs.