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PROFILE: New education minister Shibayama was Abe’s pick in election

  • October 2, 2018
  • , Kyodo News , 01:46 p.m.
  • English Press

TOKYO – Masahiko Shibayama, a former special advisor to Abe as the ruling party president and known as a supporter of the prime minister, has been handed his first Cabinet post, that of the education, culture, sports, science and technology minister.

 

The 52-year-old former lawyer was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2004 following victory in a by-election in Saitama Prefecture. He became a candidate of the Liberal Democratic Party through an open recruitment campaign organized by Abe, then the party’s secretary general.

 

Shibayama has drawn fire in the past, as he commented on a commercial television broadcast program that if same-sex marriage is legalized in Japan, it would accelerate a decline in birth rates.

 

Originally from central Japan’s Aichi Prefecture, Shibayama holds a second “dan” rank black belt in karate and once dreamed of becoming a singer as a student.

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