Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has decided to appoint former education minister Yoshimasa Hayashi as his new foreign minister, a source close to the matter 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.
Observers say his appointment indicates the new prime minister’s commitment to bolstering the U.S.-Japan alliance.
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