Position: Japan Finance Minister
Incumbent: Koriki Jojima Date of Birth: January 1, 1947
Term: Was appointed by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in acabinet reshuffle on Oct. 1 2012. Serves at the will of theprime minister or until general elections that must be held byAugust 2013.
-- A former head of a labour union at Japanese foodseasonings maker Ajinomoto Co, Jojima was first elected toparliament's lower house in 1996 as a member of the now defunctNew Frontier Party, led by veteran politician Ichiro Ozawa. Hegraduated from the department of agriculture at the prestigiousUniversity of Tokyo.
-- Since the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) ousted thelong-ruling Liberal Democratic Party in a 2009 general election,Jojima has held important party posts including deputy policyaffairs chief, deputy secretary-general and parliamentaryaffairs chief. Until his October 2012 appointment, he had neverheld a ministerial post.
-- Jojima, who was instrumental in securing a political dealon Noda's plan to double the sales tax to 10 percent by October2015, has followed the prime minister's line on the need forfiscal reform to fix Japan's finances, with public debt runningat roughly twice the size of the country's annual economicoutput. In an interview with Reuters in April, Jojima voicedconcern that were the the sales tax plan to fail, it could leadto a downgrade of Japan's sovereign debt ratings, and prompt aspike in bond yields.
-- Like his predecessor Jun Azumi, Jojima has no noteworthyexperience in fiscal policy, financial diplomacy or overseeingcurrency markets. He has echoed the finance ministry's officialline, saying that he stands ready to act decisively versusexcessive yen gains, fearing that the stubbornly strong yencould hurt Japan's export-reliant economy.
-- Jojima has voiced caution over the idea of allowing thecentral bank to buy foreign bonds to help weaken the yen, partlybecause currency intervention is the prerogative of the financeministry. He has also said the government and the Bank of Japanshare a common goal of ending deflation, and he expects the BOJto take bold monetary steps when needed.
(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Daniel Magnowskiand David Cutler)
Keywords: JAPAN FINMIN/