Noda announces new Cabinet

Sept. 1, 2011 at 11:01 PM
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TOKYO, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's Cabinet will include Koichiro Gemba as foreign minister and Jun Azumi as finance minster, it was announced Friday.

The announcement was made by the newly named Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura, a close ally of Noda. The chief cabinet secretary, a powerful post, functions as the main spokesman for the government.

Fujimura, 61, a Lower House member from Osaka, is a longtime friend of Noda and is considered the new prime minister's closest aide, Japan Times reported.

The report said Fujimura led the effort that helped Noda become head of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and to succeed Naoto Kan as prime minister.

Kan, who had been in office only since June 2010, resigned as criticism grew about his government's handling of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant set off by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Other members of Noda's Cabinet were to be announced later Friday.

Both the new Foreign Minister Gemba and Finance Minister Azumi are in their 40s.

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