Yoshimasa Hayashi, tapped as education, culture, sports, science and technology minister, is a veteran House of Councillors member well-versed in policy matters and an old hand with rich Cabinet-level experience.
The latest Cabinet post is the fifth the 56-year-old Liberal Democratic Party member has taken since becoming a lawmaker in 1995, an unusually high number for an upper house member.
The son of former Finance Minister Yoshiro Hayashi, the fourth-term lawmaker is known for his keen understanding of wide-ranging policy areas from tax systems, to farm policy, to foreign and defense affairs and to administrative reform.
Hayashi has previously been minister of defense, economic and fiscal policy, and agriculture. As farm minister, he twice served in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe between 2012 and 2014 and in 2015.
Hayashi, who represents Yamaguchi Prefecture — which includes Abe’s constituency, albeit for a different chamber — ran for the LDP presidency in 2012 but came in last among five candidates, while Abe won the contest.