TOKYO – Here are some of the key ministers in Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet, which was announced Wednesday:
FINANCE MINISTER — Taro Aso, 72: A former prime minister, Aso introduced fiscal stimulus measures to deal with the global financial crisis. But he had to leave office in 2009 after his unpopular government caused a crushing election loss for the Liberal Democratic Party. Aso shares many of Abe's hawkish views on diplomacy, security and history. He is one of Japan's most colorful politicians. He is an Olympic skeetshooter and is known for his penchant for comic books and gold necklaces. He is the grandson of former Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida, who co-founded the ruling party.
FOREIGN MINISTER — Fumio Kishida, 55: An expert on issues relating to frictions on the southern island of Okinawa between local residents and the nearly 20,000 U.S. troops based there. Kishida was in charge of territorial issues in Abe's previous administration of 2006-2007. A former banker, he entered politics to inherit the constituency of his father.
DEFENSE MINISTER — Itsunori Onodera, 52: A marine environmental scientist before entering politics, Onodera has served in key posts in defense, foreign affairs and fisheries. His hometown, Kesennuma, was devastated in last year's quake and tsunami, which destroyed his parents' home. For weeks after the disaster, he commuted between his hometown and the government while trying to help disaster-hit people.
ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION — Akira Amari, 63: The trade and industry minister in Abe's previous government, Amari is one of Abe's right-hand men with economic and business expertise. Amari is known as a staunch supporter of nuclear energy and has said reactor stoppages hurt Japan's economy. He believes reactors that pass safety checks should be reactivated.
ECONOMY, TRADE AND INDUSTRY MINISTER — Toshimitsu Motegi, 57: A former financial services minister, Motegi will be tasked with compiling and implementing Japan's energy policy in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.