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Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has decided to appoint former education minister Yoshimasa Hayashi as his new foreign minister, sources said Saturday.

The appointment comes after the ruling Liberal Democratic Party officially named Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan’s most recent top diplomat, as its new secretary-general on Thursday. Kishida plans to officially name Hayashi to the post when he launches his new Cabinet on Wednesday.

Hayashi, 60, has served in a number of ministerial posts, including stints as education minister and defense chief.

Parliament is set to convene a special session on Wednesday to choose the country’s next prime minister after the latest general election, with Kishida’s new Cabinet set to be launched the same day.

The Harvard-educated Hayashi — who speaks fluent English — is a senior member of Kishida’s LDP faction and made the move to the powerful Lower House with a win in Sunday’s poll after serving in the Diet’s upper chamber since 1995.

Hayashi, who is said to have prime ministerial ambitions, is well-versed in many policy issues. As foreign minister, his most urgent tasks will be to strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance and build a stable relationship with China, which has been working to boost its economic and military power.

Other major issues include Japan’s deteriorating relations with South Korea over history issues, its territorial dispute over the four Russian-held islands known as the Northern Territories in Japan, as well as North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

Kishida aims to strengthen the foundation of his administration by appointing Hayashi, the sources said.

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