Go to contents

Kawaguchi Yoriko Appointed as Japan’s Foreign Affairs Minister

Kawaguchi Yoriko Appointed as Japan’s Foreign Affairs Minister

Posted February. 03, 2002 01:48,   


Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro appointed Minister of Environment Kawaguchi Yoriko (61, female) as the new minister for Foreign Affairs.

The Prime Minister oversaw the ministry after previous minister Danaku Makiko was dismissed on the night of January 30th.

Prime Minister Koizumi actually requested ex-U. N Refugee High Commissioner, Ogata Sadako as Minister of Foreign Affairs but he rejected the offer.

This is the first time in 32 years since Okita Saburo, who was minister for foreign affairs in the second Cabinet of Ohira Masoyosi, that a non-governmental person who is not even a member of the Cabinet has taken charge of the post.

The new minister for foreign affairs, Kawaguchi entered the Cabinet as the Minister of Environment when the second Cabinet of Mori Yosiro began in July 2000 and became the first Minister of Environment due to revisions in government ministries last January and was in office during the initial term of the Koizumi administration in April.

She showed her ability to negotiate by adjusting coolly to the conflicting interests of various nations besides America, which rejected ratification for ratification of Kyoto protocol at the international meeting last July and received international criticism.

She has actively promoted recycling across Japanese society.

She is a career official and entered Ministry of Trade currently known as Ministry of Economy and Industry after graduating from Tokyo University, and took charge of international trade matters.

She went on to become the Japanese Consulate General in the United States and retired as head of the secretariat in charge of environmental matters.

Afterwards she entered the Cabinet during her work as Managing Director of Santory Corp., a private company since 1993.

Some used to criticize her for taking sides with the Ministry of Economy and Industry, which was her home ministry, but the staff of the Ministry of Environment evaluated her highly as "a realistic environmentalist."

However, it is unknown whether she can grasp the intricacies and creatively innovate in foreign affairs, which is well known for its severe proprietary.

Her hobby is listening to classical music and has one daughter and one son.