LONDON – The Times newspaper has selected Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi as one of its 20 people to look out for in 2020.
The British paper said there are two opposing views of Koizumi: Either he is a hereditary political aristocrat with a pretty face but no original ideas or he is the most interesting and promising Japanese politician of his generation, adding that Koizumi will face a real test this year.
Koizumi appears to be full of confidence and has hair that looks like it has been styled at an expensive salon, the paper said, adding that he is also a shrewd political operator who has risen to power in a nationalist conservative government while maintaining an aura of liberal-minded cool.
Koizumi, the second son of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who was in the top government post from 2001 to 2006, became environment minister in a Cabinet reshuffle in September, taking up a ministerial post for the first time.
The 38-year-old rising political star made headlines when he announced in August that he would marry Christel Takigawa, a freelance television presenter. The couple filed a marriage notification with the Yokosuka City Office in Kanagawa Prefecture.
Also on the Times’ 20 faces list are Israeli politician Gideon Saar and Indian lawmaker Amit Shah.