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INTERVIEW: Kishida Apparently Aims to Decentralize Power

INTERVIEW: Kishida Apparently Aims to Decentralize Power

   Tokyo, Oct. 11 (Jiji Press)--Japan's new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida seems to be trying to decentralize authority from the prime minister's office, which grew very powerful under the previous two governments, according to Takashi Mikuriya, an expert in modern Japanese politics.
   Regarding the lineup of Kishida's cabinet, Mikuriya, professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo, said in an interview with Jiji Press that the appointments represent an attempt to divide former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and former Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso.
   "I don't think that Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno has an excellent leadership ability," Mikuriya said. Kishida apparently believes that the post of chief cabinet secretary has gained too much power, so he refrained from appointing Koichi Hagiuda, who is close to Abe, to the post, he said. Hagiuda was appointed minister of economy, trade and industry.
   While having Seiji Kihara, the prime minister's close confidant, as deputy chief cabinet secretary, Kishida named Akira Amari as secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Mikuriya noted. Amari is well-versed in policy matters and belongs to the LDP faction led by Aso.
   "(Kishida) is trying to decentralize the power that has concentrated on the chief cabinet secretary," Mikuriya said.

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