Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto

Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto

Nejibana (of the Twisting Flowers blog) has posted a profile of the Seiji Maehara’s replacement as foreign minister. Takeaki Matsumoto was appointed to the position following Maehara’s resignation over a potential funding scandal caused by the donation of ¥250,000 by a childhood zainichi friend. Zainichi are long-term Korean residents of Japan – they are native Japanese speakers born and raised in the country. They keep their Korean citizenship thus making them officially foreigners in the country of their birth, unable to vote or make political contributions under laws mitigating the fear of undue foreign influences in Japanese politics. JSW‘s own Corey J. Wallace has posted his compelling perspective on Maehara’s resignation, and Nejibana has looked at the challenges caused by the resignation, but from his latest post on Takeaki Matsumoto it seems that we can expect a lot of continuity of Maehara’s work, particularly on the US-Japan alliance:

Matsumoto is seen as strong in areas pertaining to financial, fiscal, and security policy. He is considered an advocate for the Japan-US alliance. Recognizing the differences in Japan and the US’ positions on Iran, Matsumoto proposes a multi-layered approach to managing Japan’s relations with the US. On security issues, Matsumoto supports Japan’s exercise of its right to collective self-defense. He, however, is not in favor of Japan acquiring nuclear weapons.

Read more at Twisting Flowers

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A former contributor to World Intelligence (Japan Military Review), James Simpson joined Japan Security Watch in 2011, migrating with his blog Defending Japan. He has a Masters in Security Studies from Aberystwyth University and is currently living in Kawasaki, Japan. His primary interests include the so-called 'normalization' of Japanese security (i.e. militarization), and the political impact of the abduction issue with North Korea.
James Simpson has 254 post(s) on Japan Security Watch