Japan's sensible new defense chief
News On Japan via The Diplomat -- Jun 18
The choice of Satoshi Morimoto to head Japan's Defense Ministry has surprised many. But the media and opposition party criticism is misplaced. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda recently reshuffled his cabinet as a means of courting the support of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) for legislation related to increasing the consumption tax.
Noda replaced five of his 18 cabinet members, including Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka and Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism Minister Takeshi Maeda, both of whom were censured in the House of Councilors. Yet, the change that has drawn the most attention is the appointment of Tanaka's successor, Satoshi Morimoto.
This is because Morimoto is an academic, not a politician, making him the first non-politician to become Japan's top defense chief since World War II. But although the media and opposition parties have joined in criticizing his appointment, Noda's choice deserves praise. Finally, Japan has a defense minister with unquestionable expertise.
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