Abe Elected Japanese Prime Minister

    September 26, 2006 19:38

    Shinzo Abe was elected Japanese prime minister by the Diet on Tuesday, Tokyo has announced.

    The New Liberal Democratic Party president sailed through the vote to become Japan’s 90th prime minister, joining hands with the New Komeito Party (NKP) to form his new Cabinet. Abe is the nation’s first prime minister born after World War II and the youngest prime minister since the war. Taro Aso is to remain in office as foreign minister, while Yasuhisa Shiozaki, a member of Abe’s inner circle, is to serve as chief Cabinet secretary. Bunmei Ibuki, the former head of the national public safety commission, becomes minister of education, culture, sports, science and technology. Akira Amari, the LDP deputy secretary-general, is to serve as minister of economy, trade and industry, and Hakuo Yanagisawa, who ran Abe’s LDP presidential election campaign, becomes minister of health, labor and welfare.

    Newly elected Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe leaves the chamber after he was named successor to Junichiro Koizumi at the Lower House's plenary session at the Diet in Tokyo on Tuesday./AFP

    President Roh Moo-hyun sent a congratulatory message to the new prime minister. “I hope that our bilateral relationship will grow to become a future-oriented one and regional cooperation in Northeast Asia will improve further”,” Roh wrote. The Korean president also sent a message to Koizumi, who stepped down.

    A high-ranking Cheong Wa Dae official told reporters “it depends on Japan” if a bilateral summit will take place now that Koizumi is gone. “Japan will know very well what we want.” The official said President Roh has stressed that actions speak louder than words. “With this principle in mind, we will watch the situation and what the new Japanese government does regarding the issue.” But the official did not comment to what extent Seoul wants the new prime minister to express his position on the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, which Koizumi was fond of visiting and which honors war criminals among Japan’s war dead. Cheong Wa Dae considers Abe’s inauguration as Japan’s new prime minister an opportunity to normalize the bilateral relationship and is reportedly seeking a summit before the APEC meeting in November via dialogue through a variety of channels.

    • Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com
    Previous Next
    All Headlines Back to Top