First, as regards the Sanyaku:
LDP Secretary General - Nakagawa Hidenao
Because the current mix of monetary and fiscal policy is largely his creation. He should have to defend it in next year's elections. Also, if he is not named either kanjichō or kambōchōkan, he will bite off someone's head.
LDP Chairman of the General Council - Tsushima Yūji
Because being the head of the second largest faction has to mean something, d-d-d-dang nabbit. He would also get to repeat his pet phrase--"Mine is the largest faction in the House of Councillors"--a lot, to great effect.
Chairman of the Policy Research Council - Aso Tarō
Because he needs some better reading material. It also will give Nakagawa the opportunity to beat him up every so often.
The Cabinet - see if you can forgive, me...please.
Chief Cabinet Secretary - Yosano Kaoru
Because Abe cannot have Mori faction members as both kanjichō and the kambōchōkan. Having Yosano as Chief Cabinet Secretary will also cut down on the number of people coddling the bureaucracy-- the government offices and residences are all in Yosano's electoral district anyway.
Finance - Yanagisawa Hakuo
Because I would not want him in this post (just thinking about the masochistic policies he will promote gives me a headache). He'll look great in the G8 group photos, though.
Foreign Affairs - Nikai Toshihirō
A big surprise, if it happens - a lot of folks are betting on an Aso Tarō repeat here, especially after he picked up 136 votes in the presidential race. But seriously, can the same old face be used to sell the idea that Abe premiership represents a brand new start? Shiozaki Yasuhisa is still a little too too young get to a post this big at such a sensitive time. Choosing Shiozaki might convince Koga Makoto to stop griping, however.
Economics, Trade and Industry - Okuda Hiroshi
Because what's good for Toyota Motors and the Nippon Keidanren is good for Japan.
Justice - some old person we have never heard of before
Because it has always been thus, Grasshopper. Perhaps this is where they will stick Wakabayashi Masatoshi.
Health, Labor and Welfare - The Kōmeitō Dude
Because its what the Kōmeitō wants, Grasshopper. Always.
Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport - Nakagawa Shōichi
Just to keep him off the streets, basically. Also, after a year of Kitagawa, the MLIT folks will be wanting someone a little more feisty.
Education, Science and Technology - Takaichi Sanae
Because if Takaichi-san were trying any harder to get Abe's attention, she would be committing adultery. Abe has to put a woman in a highly visible and sensitive ministerial post, and among the Three Cheerleaders, Takaichi's has the most Diet experience.
Environment - a non-politician
Because this post is all about appearances, not commitments.
Defense Agency - Kyūma Fumio
Because he would so love to be the first true Minister of Defense.
And in the Kantei
Ishihara Nobuteru - Special Advisor on Local Administration
Nakayama Kyōko - Special Advisor on North Korean Abductions
Yamamoto Yūji - Special Advisor on Income Disparities
??? - Special Advisor on Education Reform
??? - Special Advisor on Constitutional Revision
The last two Special Advisor posts are radioactive--both in terms of the subject matter and the people Abe heretofore has been seeking advice from.
Photos: Around the World With Shinzo Abe
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