1. Kishida Reshuffled His Cabinet
PM Kishida, on September 13, formed his 2nd Cabinet, and it was formally invested at the Emperor’s Palace on the same day.
Among total nineteen cabinet members, eleven were newly appointed, six stayed intact from the 1st Cabinet and two members used to serve previous cabinets.
Female Diet members shared five posts, which tie with the past highest number of the 1st Koizumi Cabinet and of the 2nd Abe Cabinet.
Following is the breakdown of the cabinet members by the factions of the ruling LDP:
Abe faction having 100 elected Diet members: 4 cabinet members
Aso faction (55 Diet members): 4
Motegi faction (54 Diet members): 3
Kishida faction (46 Diet members): 2
Nikai faction (41 Diet members): 2
Moriyama faction (8 Diet member): 0
LDP’s top four executives remain unchanged, namely Vice President Aso, Secretary-General Motegi, Chairman of Policy Research Council Hagyuta and Chairman of the Diet Affairs Committee Takagi, while Moriyama faction’s leader Rep. Moriyama was assigned as Chairman of the General Affairs Committee.
The media reported that PM Kishida had frequently consulted with Aso and Motegi about his plan of the Cabinet reshuffle and the party executive assignments, so the Aso faction and Motegi faction are basically in agreement to support Kishida’s reelection as the Party President in September next year.
2. Cabinet Reshuffle Hasn’t Caused A Rebound Of Kishida’s Declining Approval Rating
Yomiuri conducted a survey right after the Cabinet reshuffle of September 13.
The new cabinet’s approval rating is 35%, which stays the same as the previous survey that was conducted from August 25 through 27.
Only 27% of the respondents appreciated PM Kishida’s initiative to refresh his cabinet and the party executives, while 50% didn’t.
70% appreciated the aspect of the increased number of female cabinet members.
Top five issues that the respondents want the new Cabinet to tackle are as follows:
Economy and job
Declining number of children
Pension and social security
Reputational risk out of the release of the treated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant
3. Japan’s Share Of Senior People Reached 29.1%
On the national holiday of Respect-for-Aged Day of September 18, Ministry of Internal Affair and Communications announced the statistics related to senior people in Japan.
Its population of 65 years and older is estimated to be 36.2 million as of September 15.
It’s share out of the total population increased by 0.1 point to 29.1%, which is the highest ever since collecting the statics began in 1950.
This share is the world highest as well, followed by Italy (24.5%) and Finland (23.6%).
According to National Institute of Population and Security Research, the senior population and its share will reach 39.3 million and 34.8% in 2040 respectively.
The number of centenarians also increased by 1,613 people to 92,139.
88.5% of them are women including a 116 years old living in Osaka.
4. Foreign Visitors Are Coming Back To Japan
Japan Tourism Bureau announced on September 20 that 2,156,900 people visited Japan in August, which accounts for 85.6% of the number of visitors in August 2019 before the pandemic.
Korean people visited most (569,100), followed by Taiwan (396,300) , Mainland China (364,100) and Hong Kong (206,300).
The Chinese Government had suspended group tours to Japan due to the concern of the pandemic, but last month it lifted the restriction, so tourism industry here expects a surge of Chinese tourists soon.