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Yosano named MITI chief despite supporting Kajiyama

TOKYO, July 30 Kyodo

Kaoru Yosano, a member of the House of Representatives, joined the cabinet of new Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi as international trade and industry minister, despite having endorsed Obuchi's opponent as ruling party leader.

Yosano was among those supporting Seiroku Kajiyama in the Liberal Democratic Party's presidential election last week.

Political analysts attributed his appointment to his experience as parliamentary vice minister for international trade and industry as well as chairman of the House of Representatives' Committee on Commerce and Industry.

Yosano, 59, heads one of a group of economics-related ministries charged with tackling the important task of reviving the stalled economy.

Public attention will likely be focused on his ability to push through deregulation in industrial sectors he oversees and to boost domestic demand to absorb exports from troubled Asian economies, among other pending issues.

Yosano is a native of Tokyo and a grandson of Tekkan Yosano and his wife Akiko, both celebrated poets in Japan's prewar literary circle.

This is the second cabinet post for Yosano, who also served as education minister in the cabinet of then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama from mid-1994 to early 1996. He has been elected to the lower house seven times since 1951.

Yosano graduated in law from the prestigious University of Tokyo and worked for Japan Atomic Power Co. He also served as a secretary for former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:Aug 3, 1998
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