The secretariat of the Cabinet Bureau of Personnel Affairs is located in Building No. 8 of the government office building complex facing the Kantei (Prime Minister’s Official Residence). Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda currently serves as the bureau chief, but the meetings where the appointment of vice ministers is decided are actually held at Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga’s office on the fifth floor of the Kantei. Suga, Hagiuda, and other officials gather here when necessary to decide on the appointment of some 670 vice ministers, bureau directors general, and deputy bureau directors general.
There were a number of Kantei-led appointments in the personnel changes this summer. Takeo Akiba, director general of the Foreign Ministry’s Foreign Policy Bureau, was appointed deputy minister with the rank of vice minister. This was a promotion overtaking some bureau chiefs who are more senior. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s secretary in charge of economic policy at the Kantei, Tadao Yanase, was named the director general of the most important bureau in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau. Another former secretary to the Prime Minister, Makiko Yamada, became the first female head of the minister’s secretariat at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.