(Nikkei: July 8, 2015 – p.5)
The Minister of Finance and the Minister of State for Financial Services Taro Aso announced on July 7 the next senior personnel changes for the ministry and the Financial Services Agency effective on that day. Kazuho Tanaka, who joined the ministry in 1979 and is currently Director General of the Budget Bureau, was promoted the next Administrative Vice Minister. Usually only one official among contemporaries takes the position of vice minister, but Tanaka is the third official to become vice minister among his contemporaries, which is unprecedented. Also unusual are the assignment for Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs and Director-General of the International Bureau, the position subordinate to the Administrative Vice Minister, which are also taken by same-year entrants to the ministry. As for Commissioner of the Financial Services Agency, Nobuchika Mori takes office one year earlier than expected. The personnel changes are characterized by not following precedent or conventional practice.
Tanaka as the new Vice Administrative Minister is the replacement for Shunsuke Kagawa, who joined the ministry in the same year (contemporary). Kagawa’s predecessor is Yasuji Kinoshita (Vice President of the Development Bank of Japan), who also entered the ministry in the same year. This means three people who entered the ministry in the same year will take the position of Administrative Vice Minister for one year each.
Director-General of the International Bureau Masatsugu Asakawa was promoted as the next Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs, who administers international finance. Asakawa was a secretary to then Prime Minister Aso during the Lehman crisis. Unprecedentedly, Asakawa’s contemporary Daikichi Monma, Chief of Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance, was promoted to Director-General of the International Bureau. In the Ministry of Finance, where a seniority system functions, same-year entrants are now in de facto relationships between seniors and subordinates. (Abridged)