Toshimitsu Motegi

Summary

Toshimitsu Motegi (茂木 敏充, Motegi Toshimitsu, born 7 October 1955) is a Japanese politician and diplomat who currently serves as the Secretary-General of the Liberal Democratic Party. He has previously served as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2019 to 2021, and as Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry from 2012 to 2014. He is serving in the House of Representatives as a member of the Liberal Democratic Party.

Toshimitsu Motegi
茂木 敏充
Toshimitsu Motegi 20200916.jpg
Motegi in 2020
Secretary-General of the Liberal Democratic Party
Assumed office
4 November 2021
PresidentFumio Kishida
Vice PresidentTarō Asō
Preceded byAkira Amari
Minister for Foreign Affairs
In office
11 September 2019 – 4 November 2021
Prime Minister
Preceded byTarō Kōno
Succeeded byYoshimasa Hayashi
Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy
In office
3 August 2017 – 11 September 2019
Prime MinisterShinzo Abe
Preceded byNobuteru Ishihara
Succeeded byYasutoshi Nishimura
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry
In office
26 December 2012 – 3 September 2014
Prime MinisterShinzo Abe
Preceded byYukio Edano
Succeeded byYūko Obuchi
Member of the House of Representatives
Assumed office
19 July 1993
ConstituencyTochigi 1st district
Personal details
Born (1955-10-07) 7 October 1955 (age 66)
Ashikaga, Tochigi, Japan
Political partyLiberal Democratic Party
Alma materUniversity of Tokyo
Harvard University
WebsiteOfficial website

Early life and educationEdit

A native of Ashikaga, Tochigi, Motegi was born on 7 October 1955.[1] He graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1978 and worked for the trading company Marubeni Corporation until 1980. He received a post-graduate Master of Public Policy degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1983, and worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company from 1984 to 1992.[1][2][3]

CareerEdit

He was elected to the House of Representatives for the first time in the 1993 general election as a member of the Japan New Party, representing the Tochigi 5th district. He changed his political affiliation to the Liberal Democratic Party in 1995.[4]

He was appointed Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs in October 2002 under Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. Koizumi then promoted him to Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs, Science and Technology Policy, and Information Technology in September 2003, and on 1 August 2008, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda appointed him as State Minister in Charge of Financial Services and Administrative Reform.

Within the Liberal Democratic Party, Motegi is the acting chairman of the Takeshita faction, the party’s third-largest with 52 members.

Abe governmentEdit

Following the LDP's victory in the 2012 general election, resulting in Shinzo Abe's election as prime minister, Motegi was named Minister for Economy, Trade, and Industry.

He left the Cabinet in September 2014 to serve as Chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party Election Committee. He was appointed Chairman of the LDP Policy Council in August 2016.[2]

Motegi was appointed Minister for Economic Revitalization and State Minister for Economic and Fiscal Policy in 2017.[2] As minister, he was sent as a special envoy to sign the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership in Santiago, Chile.[5] In August 2019, Motegi led negotiations with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to finalize a new trade pact between Japan and the United States.[6] Nikkei dubbed Motegi "Japan's 'Trump whisperer'" in recognition of his role in negotiating with US President Donald Trump and his administration.[7] Abe appointed Motegi as foreign minister in September 2019 in recognition of this success.[8]

In 2018, Motegi was revealed to have possibly breached Japan's electoral laws. He was accused of making illegal donations of incense sticks to his constituents through his personal secretary. Opposition parties called for his resignation.[9] He was active in gathering support for Abe's re-election as president of the Liberal Democratic Party that year.[8]

Suga and Kishida governmentsEdit

 
Motegi meets with U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken in Tokyo, Japan on March 16, 2021.

After Abe's resignation as Prime Minister, his successor Yoshihide Suga opted to retain Motegi as foreign minister after taking office in September 2020. As Suga was known to be weak in foreign affairs, this gave Motegi an opportunity to build his reputation and brand, while maintaining the foreign policy initiatives from the Abe government.[10]

In October 2020, Motegi met with U.K. International Trade Secretary Liz Truss to sign a bilateral economic partnership agreement estimated to raise British exports to Japan by 17.2% (¥355 billion) and Japanese exports to Britain by 79.9% (¥1.775 trillion). In the trade package, British import tariffs are expected to reduce by up to 60% for Kobe beef, 31% for the Japanese chocolate snack Pocky, 22% for bluefin tuna, 13% for udon noodles, and 6% for soy sauce.[11]

After Suga's resignation as Prime Minister, his successor Fumio Kishida opted to retain Motegi as foreign minister after taking office in October 2021. Nikkei noted that this sent a message of continuity in Japan's policies toward China and Taiwan.[12]

He was appointed Secretary-General of the LDP after the resignation of the previous incumbent Akira Amari following the 2021 general elections.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Abe Cabinet". The Japan Times. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "Toshimitsu MOTEGI". Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Profile of Minister for Foreign Affairs MOTEGI Toshimitsu". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  4. ^ Japan Times, "Fukuda's new lineup", 3 August 2008.
  5. ^ "Signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  6. ^ "Japan and U.S. approaching 'final stage' of trade talks, says negotiator Toshimitsu Motegi". The Japan Times. 22 August 2019. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  7. ^ Kato, Masaya (9 December 2019). "Japan's 'Trump whisperer' emerges as potential Abe successor". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  8. ^ a b Shimada, Gaku (7 September 2019). "Abe to pick trade point man Motegi as Japan's top diplomat". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  9. ^ Reynolds, Isabel; Nobuhiro, Emi (2 February 2018). "Incense Sticks Come Back to Burn Japan's Economy Minister". Bloomberg. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  10. ^ Bosack, Michael MacArthur (16 September 2020). "Breaking down Suga's picks for his first Cabinet". The Japan Times. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  11. ^ "Trade pact with Japan to cut British tariff on Pocky snack by 31%". The Japan Times. 24 October 2020. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  12. ^ "Japan's Kishida to retain foreign and defense ministers". Nikkei Asia. Retrieved 3 October 2021.
Political offices
Preceded by Secretary-General of the Liberal Democratic Party
2021–
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry
2012–2014
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy
2017–2019
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Foreign Affairs
2019–2021
Succeeded by