With a woman in charge of foreign policy for the first time in almost two decades, the appointment of Yoko Kamikawa as foreign minister might have changed the face of Japan's diplomacy, but any significant shift in the country's outward-looking posture is highly unlikely.

Protecting Japan’s national interests, increasing its leverage in global affairs and listening to the voices of citizens — these will be the three key pillars at the foundation of Japan’s diplomatic policy, Kamikawa said Thursday in her first news conference after assuming office in a Cabinet reshuffle the previous day.

The foreign minister, a Harvard-educated veteran with experience working for a U.S. senator, reiterated the importance of the bilateral alliance with the United States and the necessity of exerting Japan’s leadership on the international stage.