Kono to be named LDP public relations chief

The new president of Japan's main ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Kishida Fumio, is to name his main rival in the party leadership race, Kono Taro, as the chairperson of the LDP Public Relations Headquarters.

Kishida is working on the party executive lineup to be finalized on Friday.

Kono has served as regulatory reform minister in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide since it was inaugurated last September.

He has also been in charge of Japan's coronavirus vaccine rollout since January.

In Wednesday's LDP presidential election, Kono came in second in the first round, just one vote short of Kishida, who eventually won the presidency in a runoff vote.

Of the four contenders in the race, Kono won the largest number of votes from rank-and-file party members.

Kishida apparently hopes that Kono, as public relations chief, will help beef up the party's ability to send messages to the people.