TOKYO – Satsuki Katayama, the sole woman in the reshuffled Cabinet, is newly appointed regional revitalization minister tasked with lifting local economies that are grappling with shrinking populations.
A former elite bureaucrat at the Finance Ministry, the native of Saitama Prefecture entered politics in 2005 with a successful bid for the House of Representatives, on the ticket of the Liberal Democratic Party then headed by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.
She was one of the “Koizumi children,” who battled against opponents of postal reforms spearheaded by the former prime minister in the lower house election.
Katayama lost her seat in a 2009 election of the lower chamber, but was elected to the House of Councillors the following year. The 59-year-old is known as a fierce debater, making frequent appearances on television programs. She most recently served as acting head of the LDP’s Policy Research Council.