Prime Minister (総理) 9/21/2005-9/21/2006
With the defeat of his long-pursued postal privatization initiative in August of 2005, Koizumi called snap elections in order to punish those within his own party (LDP) who he deemed standing in the way of reform. Less than one month later many of those who opposed Koizumi's legislation found themselves running without official LDP support and against special "assasins" sent to unseat them. The strategy worked in unseating holdouts and swept the LDP to its largest majority in decades. The snap election also worked to beat back resistance within the LDP for Koizumi's plans. Only one LDP member failed to support the initiative the second time around as opposed to twenty-two on the first. Aside from this postal victory, however, many of the same old problems continued to beleaguer the administration. North Korea refused to open up its nuclear facilities to international inspectors, and the row over the abductee issue continued. Ties with China and Korea continued to remain strained over Koizumi's official visits to the Yasukuni shrine.
Minister of Internal Affairs/ Post /Telecommunications (総務・・郵便・通信）
Takenaka serves again in the third administration. As mentioned above, the snap election which brought about Koizumi's third administraion was brought about in no small part by the Diet's sluggish behavior regarding Koizumi's proposed postal reform. Takenaka played a key role in bringing about those reforms.
Minister of Justice (法務）
After graduating from Tokyo University in 1957, Sugiura was employed by the Kawasaki Steel corporation. During this time he also found himself an advocate for Inter-Asian youth and scientific exchanges. He started his law career as a lawer in 1972 working his way up to the post of Vice President in the First Tokyo Bar Association. in 1982. He was first elected to the Diet and worked his way to the top. By 2003 he was chairman of the Seiwa Policy Research Committee (清和政策研究会) then commonly known as the Mori Faction. Immediately prior to his appointment as Minister of Justice, Sugiura served as Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary from 2004-2005.
Minister for Foreign Affairs (外務）
Initially, in the third term, this post was held by MACHIMURA Nobutaka. By the end of the third Koizumi Administration however, Aso moved into the more prestigious position of Foreign Minister. During this term, North Korea continued to be a challenge, SDF ground forces completed their Iraq deployment, and ties with China and South Korea continued to be shaky over the Yasukuni Issue (1). Aso would become a leading contender for Koizumi's seat at the end of this term.
Minister of Finance (財務）
Tanigaki retained this post from the second Koizumi Administration. Along with Aso and Abe, Tanigaki was also a leading contender for the LDP president and Prime Minister when Koizumi's term expired.
Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (文部科学）
Continued in this position from the second Koizumi Administration. Under his tenure, Japan started towards, among other things, compulsory English education in elementary schools.
Minister of Health, Labour, and Welfare (厚生労働）
Kawasaki graduated with a degree in business and commerce from Keio University in 1971. He went to work for Matsushita Electric until 1980 when he took over his father's base and was elected to the Diet for the first time from Mie Prefecture. His first Cabinet post came in 1998 as Minister of Transportation for the Obuchi administration. This was followed by concurrent post as chair of the Hokkaido Development Agency in 1999. He took over this post from OTSUJI Hidehisa, who held it for for a single year from 2004-2005.
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (農林水）
Nakagawa switched to this post after two years as Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry for the final part of the first, and then in the second Koizumi Administrations. During this term, a great deal of controversy arose over American beef imports. Banned since 2003, under intense pressure the Japanese market was re-opened (2) briefly until one US company was found in breach of the agreed upon conditions and trade closed again.
Minister of Economy Trade and Industry (経済産業）
Nikai is a powerful politician from Wakayama prefecture with a lengthy resume. His first position after graduating from Chuo University in 1961 was private secretary to ENDO Saburo, then minister of construction. Nikai's own national political career began with his election to the Diet in 1983 from Wakayama prefecture. His first cabinet position came in 1990 as Minister of Transportation under the Second Kaifu cabinet. He served in the same capacity under the the 1993 Hosokawa Administration. Through his career, he floated through a variety of right-leaning parties until joining the LDP in 2003.
Minister of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport （国土交通）
Kitagawa replaces Sakaguchi as the Komei Party member of the cabinet. A 1975 graduate of Soka University, Kitagawa first worked as a lawyer before entering politics in 1990. He served as Minister of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport from September 2004 until October 2005 until becoming Secretary General of the Komei Party at the beginning of the Abe administration. During Kitagawa's tenure major issues incleded revelations of falsified reports by several companies about earthquake countermeasures in their building structure. (3) and the aftermath of the West JR Fukuchiyama Train Derailment (4).
Minister of Environment (環境）
Koike continued in this post from the second Koizumi Administration.
Chief Cabinet Secretary/Minister of State for Gender Equality (官房長官・男女共同参面担当）
Politics runs deep within the Abe family. He is the grandson of former Prime Minister KISHI Nobuske. His father served as both a Diet member and Foreign Minister in 1982. Abe's first political position came in this period as his fathe's personal secrtary after working with Kobe Steel for 3 years. Though this position in the third Koizumi administration marked his first cabinet position, his influence in Japanese politics should not be underestimated. He served as Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary as far back as the Mori Cabinet in 2000, then by 2003, as Secretary General of the LDP. He won the battle for succession to Prime Minister at the end of this, Koizumi's final term.
National Public Safety Commission Chair/Minister of State for Declining Birth Rate, Youth Affairs, and Food Safety (国家公安委員会長・少子化・青少年育成・食品安全）
A 1953 graduate of Tokyo University in the field of Engineering, Kutukake's first pursued a career in the Ministry of Construction before launching into politics. He worked his way up to Director General of the Roads division in 1982 before taking a vice-ministership in Engineering Affairs in 1984. He was elected to the Diet from Ishikawa Prefecture in 1986. This marks his first full cabinet position.
Minister of State for Defense (防衛）
Graduating from Waseda University in 1968, Nukaga worked as a politics reporter for the Sankei Shimbun. His first electoral victory came in the 1978 Ibaraki Prefectural Assembly election. Following that, he was elected to the Diet in 1983. In 1997 he took the role as deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary for the Hashimoto Administration. In 2003 he chaired the LDP Policy Research Council, then 2004 he chaired the party's Research Commission on Security. During his tenure in the Koizumi administration, repeated missile tests, and nuclear weapons development North Korea and a rising China were leading concerns.
Minister of State Okinawa/Northern Territories/Science and Technology Policy/Personal
Information Protection/Information Technology
This Tokyo University graduate started his career of public service in MITI in 1960. In 1986 he was elected to the Diet from Gifu Prefecture. 1998 Marked a move by Matsuda to the House of Councillors and in 2000 he served as Senior State Secretary for MITI, and then as Vice-Minister for METI in 2001. From 2005 he chaired the LDPs Research Committee on International Affairs.
Minister of State for Gender Equality and Social Affairs (男女共同参面・社会政策）
Earning her PhD from Yale University in 1982, Inoguchi held a variety of academic posts at Sophia University in Tokyo, Harvard University, and Australia National University. Her published papers include "Interdependence and Regional Integration," and "Prosperity without Amenities." Her public service started in 1994 on the Defense Policy Review Council, then in 1996 on the Administrative Reform Cancel. In 2003 she worked on small arms and disarmament issues.
Minister of State for Financial Services Economic and Fiscal Policy, and Postal Privatization (金融・,経済財政・郵便民営化）
A 1963 Tokyo University Graduate, Yosano worked for the Japan Atomic Power Company for five years he left to become a secretary for NAKASONE Yasuhiro in 1968. He was first elected to the Diet in 1976. In 1994 he served as Minister of Education for the Murayama Administration. 1996 saw Yosano serving as Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary. 1998 saw him as Minister of After losing his seat in 2000 to DPJ contender KAEDA Banri. Yosano came back to politics in a proportional district in 2003. In 2004 he served as Chairman of the LDP's Policy Research Council. In 2007, he would become Chief Cabinet Secretary for the Second Abe Administration.
Minister of State for Administrative and Regulatory Reform (行政・規制改革）
After graduatin gfrom Tokyo University in 1961, he worked at Sumitomo Industries until 1972. 1976 marked his entry into politics when he was elected to the Diet as a member of the New Liberal Club. He joined the LDP at the NLC's disbandment in 1986. In 2004 he became Deputy Chairman of the LDP General Council.