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Gov't reform promoter Makino becomes labor minister.

TOKYO, Oct. 5 Kyodo

Bureaucrat-turned legislator Takamori Makino, named labor minister in his first appointment to the cabinet, is known as a strong backer of administrative reform.

Makino, secretary general of a reform task force of the Liberal Democratic Party, pushed the LDP and the Liberal Party to agree to cut the number of central government bureaucrats by 25% over a decade ahead of the two parties' formation of the coalition government in January.

A former official at the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Makino has served as parliamentary vice foreign minister, chairman of the House of Representatives' committee on foreign affairs, and deputy chief cabinet secretary among other posts.

While with MITI, Makino was posted to New York and Germany.

After three aid workers of the Japan International Cooperation Agency were killed by terrorists in Peru in 1991, Makino worked to establish a fund for the children of the victims.

Makino, 73, had often been touted as a cabinet member candidate. He is said to have stopped drinking to improve his chances of appointment.

Makino, who hails from Fukui Prefecture, was elected to the lower house five times.

He is a member of the LDP faction jointly led by former Transport Minister Takami Eto and new LDP top policy-planner Shizuka Kamei.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:Oct 11, 1999
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