TOKYO – Katsunobu Kato, reappointed as minister of health, labor and welfare, has played a role in implementing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pet policies both in the government and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
Kato has chaired the party’s General Council tasked with coordinating intraparty debates on major issues, including Abe’s proposal to add a reference to the Self-Defense Forces in the Constitution’s war-renouncing Article 9.
A former Finance Ministry official, the 63-year-old also assumed ministerial posts in charge of tackling the issue of past abductions of Japanese nationals by North Korea as well as promoting women’s empowerment and work-style reform.
Kato is a son-in-law of the late Mutsuki Kato, who served as agriculture minister. The Tokyo native with four daughters is a six-term lower house member representing a constituency in Okayama Prefecture, western Japan.