Tokyo: Katsuya Okada, a senior figure in the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), is to be appointed the nation's new foreign minister, newspapers reported on Saturday.
Japan's next prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, has decided on the appointment, which will be announced on September 16 when he takes office, the Mainichi Shimbun said, quoting sources close to Hatoyama.
Okada, the secretary-general of the party, has personal connections with influential figures in the United States and is also known as an advocate for Asian-oriented diplomacy.
Meanwhile, Hirohisa Fujii, a former finance minister, is likely to be picked for the post in the incoming Japanese government led by Hatoyama, Nikkei business daily reported on Saturday.
Fujii, 77, is the head of the Democratic Party's tax panel, and he has called for funding Japan's social welfare costs with consumption tax revenue and discussing over the next four years the issue of raising the sales tax.
Hatoyama's DPJ claimed a landslide win in last weekend's general election, ending more than half a century of almost unbroken role by outgoing Prime Minister Taro Aso's Liberal Democratic Party.
First Published: Saturday, September 05, 2009, 12:13