'80s Japanese pop star Momoko Kikuchi weds Abe govt official
Nikkei -- Nov 05
Japan's Momoko Kikuchi, a former pop idol with a huge following in the 1980s, tied the knot Monday with a senior government official known to be behind many of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's policies.

Kikuchi, now 51, blogged that she had married a man outside show business after a courtship that started at the beginning of the year. Her two children from a previous marriage have been supportive throughout and are happy about the decision, she wrote. Kikuchi's previous marriage to professional golfer Tetsu Nishikawa ended in divorce in 2012.

Her new husband, Hiroaki Niihara, 60, is a senior official at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. His current job, the chief of the Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau, is often filled by prominent officials on the way to the top bureaucratic position of vice minister.

Niihara, who assumed the post in July 2018, is responsible for implementing Japan's growth strategy, as well as handling tax reform and support for startups.

He is close to Abe executive secretary and right-hand man Takaya Imai, who was two years senior to Niihara at METI. Niihara spent years in the Cabinet Office, where he was instrumental in forming such signature Abe policies as work-style reform, free preschool education and pay raises.

女優の菊池桃子さんが再婚を発表しました。お相手は経済産業省の幹部です。  菊池さんは4日に自身のブログを更新し、一般の男性と入籍したことを発表しました。お相手は経済産業省で経済産業政策局長を務める新原浩朗さんです。菊池さんが民間議員に選ばれていた「一億総活躍国民会議」で知り合い、今年から結婚を前提に交際していたということです。菊池さんは1995年にプロゴルファーの西川哲さんと結婚しましたが、2012年に離婚していました。その後、法政大学大学院で修士号を取得し、大学の客員教授を務めるなど幅広く活躍しています。
News sources: Nikkei, ANNnewsCH
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