Japan’s new finance minister, senior lawmaker Koriki Jojima, is expected by analysts to follow prime minister Yoshihiko Noda’s line on the need for fiscal reforms, given that they worked closely together on a plan to raise the sales tax.
Jojima, aged 65, was appointed as part of the third cabinet reshuffle since Noda took office in September 2011, which is probably the last effort to push up public trust in the ruling Democratic Party of Japan before general elections.
Jojima is replacing Jun Azumi, who moved to a senior party post.
The main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, ousted in 2009 after half a century of almost non-stop rule, has big chances to win the election, meaning Jojima’s time in office could be short.
Noda, 55, promised in August to call a general elections “soon” in return for backing on his sales tax plan, but did not give specific details on the timing of the vote.
Even if the cabinet reshuffle occurs during a bitter political crisis with China and South Korea, the foreign and defense ministers kept their jobs.