Following is an analysis of the data on all ministerial appointments made by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to his cabinets:
The average age of all ministers is 60.2 years old. The figure for the third cabinet is 62 years old and the average is 60 years old for the third reshuffled cabinet.
Looking at the age of ministers when the third reshuffled cabinet was launched, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso was 75 years old; Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga was 66 years old; Minister of Economic and Fiscal Policy and Economic Revitalization Akira Amari was 66 years old; Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Motoo Hayashi was 68 years old; Justice Minister Mitsuhide Iwaki was 65 years old; and Olympic Games Minister Toshiaki Endo was 65 years old. All of them were in their mid-60s or 70s. The appointment of veterans pushed up the average age.
In terms of appointment of female ministers, Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs Minister Sanae Takaichi was 45 years old when she was appointed to her first ministerial job during the first Abe cabinet (2006). Hiroko Ota, a private citizen, was named minister of economy, trade and industry. Abe appointed five female ministers to his second reshuffled cabinet in 2014. This was a figure comparable to the Junichiro Koizumi cabinet of 2001, which had a record number of female members. It is said that Abe was sensitive to this statistic.
Abe is likely to continue to appoint female ministers, because promotion of women’s empowerment is one of the Abe administration’s slogans. Since the number of cabinet positions is limited, there have been complaints from male Diet members who are affected.
Abe does not accept recommendations from the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) factions when he reshuffles his cabinet. How does the factional breakdown look? First, many Diet members from the Hosoda faction (Abe’s faction) were named to cabinet posts. Incumbent Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Hiroshi Hase and Environment Minister Tamayo Marukawa are from this faction.
The Hosoda faction is the biggest faction in the LDP, followed by the Nukaga and Kishida factions. However, almost the same numbers of Kishida and Hosoda faction members have been given cabinet jobs, indicating special treatment for the Kishida faction.
A certain number of cabinet ministers have each been named from the Nukaga, Aso, Nikai, Ishihara, and Santo factions. The above figures, including data on the first Abe cabinet, suggest an overall balance among factions, including lawmakers not belonging to any faction. (Slightly abridged)