Kishida to pick Amari as LDP secretary-general

The new leader of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Kishida Fumio, has apparently decided to name veteran politician Amari Akira as the party's secretary-general.

Amari has served in many Cabinet and party posts. He helped Kishida to win Wednesday's LDP presidential election.

Amari belongs to the intra-party faction led by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Aso Taro. Kishida's main rival in the presidential race, Regulatory Reform Minister Kono Taro, also belongs to the Aso faction. But Amari was quick to declare his support for Kishida, who has his own faction, and joined his campaign. He worked to rally support for Kishida from lawmakers in various intra-party factions, and contributed to his victory.

Kishida apparently hopes that tapping Amari, a senior member of the Aso faction, the LDP's second largest group, will help bolster his power base in pushing for party reforms.

Amari was first elected to the Lower House from the now-defunct New Liberal Club in 1983. He later joined the LDP.

Amari has held the posts of industry minister and administrative reform minister. As economic revitalization minister in Abe Shinzo's Cabinet, Amari worked to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact.
He has also served as the LDP policy chief.

In September 2019, Amari became the chairperson of the party's Research Commission on the Tax System and played a key role in drawing up tax benefits to push for a carbon neutral society and digitalization.