TOKYO, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Japan picked a new trade minister on Monday, domestic media reported, after his predecessor quit abruptly following gaffes deemed insensitive to nuclear disaster victims and dealing an early blow to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s new government.
Public broadcaster NHK reported that former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano has been appointed to head the trade ministry, which is also in charge of Japan’s energy portfolio.
His predecessor Yoshio Hachiro submitted his resignation on the weekend after reports that he joked with a reporter about radiation from the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.
Edano is well regarded by the Japanese public for his handling of the role of top government spokesman after the March earthquake.
Reporting by Shinichi Saoshiro; Editing by Joseph Radford