Hmmm...so it is Ishihara Nobuteru for Deputy Secretary General of the LDP.
Ishihara is unaligned. Giving him such a powerful and visible party post demonstrates a determined independence on Abe's part. Either that or he expects the Deputy Secretary General to be making a lot of television appearances over the next nine months.
Scratch Ishihara from my list of Special Advisors to the Prime Minister.
Nikai Toshihirō as kokutai iinchō is also an interesting choice.
I had hoped that Abe would see the wisdom of appointing a noted China friend to the post of Foreign Minister. Nikai in the Foreign Ministry could have sweetened the sour and bitter in the relationship with Japan's big neighbor. Instead, Nikai will be working his mild magic on making sure the Kōmeitō is on board with the Abe program--a very, very tough job.
So, is it an Aso vs. Shiozaki smackdown contest for the MOFA post?
And who is going to be Minister for Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Trade Pact Evisceration--a ministry post I missed the first time around?