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Naoko Munakata to be appointed as secretary to the prime minister

  • 2015-07-28 15:00:00
  • , Yomiuri
  • Translation

(Yomiuri: July 28, 2015 – p. 4)


 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to select Naoko Munakata, 53, director general of the Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), to replace Secretary to the Prime Minister Makiko Yamada, 54, who hails from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. The appointment of Munakata will be formally announced as early as July 28. The prime minister’s aim in appointing female bureaucrats as his secretaries one after another is to demonstrate his policy of supporting “women’s empowerment.”


 Yamada became secretary to Prime Minister Abe in November 2013. After returning to her ministry, she will likely be appointed as the first bureau director in the ministry. The government plans to continue appointing female bureaucrats to high-level posts.


 Following the appointment of Munakata, Tadao Yanase, 54, will leave his post as secretary to the prime minister and return to METI. As a result, the number of prime minister’s secretaries will be reduced from six to five.


 Munakata joined the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (current METI) in 1984. She has been serving in her current post since July 2014 as the first female director general at METI, after serving in such posts as director general of the Multilateral Trade System Department at the Trade Policy Bureau and deputy director general at the Minister’s Secretariat.

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