TOKYO Dec 24 Incoming Japan Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe might ask upper house lawmaker Yoriko Kawaguchi to
return for another stint as foreign minister, Kyodo reported on
Japan's next foreign minister will serve against a backdrop
of rising tensions with China, over a territorial dispute
involving uninhabited isles in the East China Sea. Abe has
called for a tougher stance toward China.
Abe is now deciding on the lineup for his Cabinet, which is
likely to be formally inaugurated on Wednesday, Kyodo said.
Kawaguchi, a career diplomat, served as foreign minister
from 2002-2004 under Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, and she
also served as environment minister in 2001 under Prime Minister
Some members of Abe's Liberal Democratic Party, which swept
to victory in Japan's Dec. 16 election, favour giving the
foreign minister post to former financial services minister
Toshimitsu Motegi or to former LDP secretary general Nobuteru
Ishihara, the Kyodo report said.
Motegi is also being considered as a candidate for economy,
trade and industry minister or internal affairs and
Abe is likely to tap former defence minister Yuriko Koike as
LDP policy chief, a separate Kyodo report said.
(Reporting by Lisa Twaronite; Editing by Michael Perry)