The government decided on July 23 to appoint Hiroyuki Suematsu, 59, director general of the Industrial Science and Technology and Environment Bureau of the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), to succeed Masaaki Okuhara, 62, as administrative vice minister of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries. Suematsu was an official of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF) but has been serving as a METI bureau chief under a personnel exchange program. It is very unusual for a vice minister to be appointed from outside the ministry.
Suematsu joined MAFF in 1983 after graduating from the Faculty of Law of the University of Tokyo. He moved to head METI’s Industrial Science and Technology and Environment Bureau in June 2016 after serving as director general of MAFF’s Rural Development Bureau.