Wed, 27 Sep 2023

Tokyo [Japan], September 16 (ANI): Japanese Prime Minster Fumio Kishida's government on Friday approved a list of new senior and parliamentary vice ministers, devoid of any women members. This is in contrast to the reshuffled Cabinet line-up with a record-tying five women, Kyodo News reported.

The list has 26 senior vice ministers and 28 parliamentary vice ministers, all male lawmakers belonging to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party or its junior coalition partner Komeito.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said the government has put "the right people in the right positions," taking into account the diversity of the entire Cabinet, including ministers and special advisers to the prime minister.

On Wednesday, Kishida appointed five women as ministers, including the top diplomat, in an apparent attempt to freshen up the image of his Cabinet and bolster its sagging approval ratings.

The government also tapped two female special advisers to Kishida, including a former opposition lawmaker, a move seen as a prelude to a potential realignment of the ruling coalition.

Wakako Yata, 57, who served as deputy chief of the labor union-backed Democratic Party for the People, became an adviser in charge of wage and employment.

The former senior member of major manufacturer Panasonic's labor union was elected to the House of Councillors in 2016. But she retired from politics after losing in the 2022 upper house election, as per Kyodo News.

This comes amid speculation that Kishida intends to include the opposition party, which has many labor union voters, into the existing ruling coalition.

The other female special adviser is the LDP's upper house lawmaker Michiko Ueno, 65, who is in charge of female empowerment and elderly and consumer administration. (ANI)

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