Abe names Inada as de­fence chief

The Myanmar Times - - World -

PRIME Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe yes­ter­day picked a close con­fi­dante with staunchly na­tion­al­ist views as the new de­fence min­is­ter, a move likely to raise con­cerns in China and South Korea.

Lawyer-turned-politi­cian To­momi Inada, 57, be­comes the sec­ond woman to over­see the de­fence min­istry af­ter Yuriko Koike, who served briefly in 2007. Ms Koike was elected gov­er­nor of Tokyo on July 31.

Ms Inada, a four-term law­maker, was for­merly pol­icy chief of Mr Abe’s rul­ing Lib­eral Demo­cratic Party and shares his hawk­ish views on Ja­pan’s 20th-cen­tury his­tory.

Ms Inada, who re­places Gen Nakatani, was named to the post as part of a par­tial re­vamp by Mr Abe of his cab­i­net af­ter the LDP’s big win in up­per house par­lia­men­tary elec­tions last month.

Her ap­point­ment came on the same day North Korea, a ma­jor se­cu­rity headache for Ja­pan, fired a bal­lis­tic mis­sile that landed just 250 kilo­me­tres (155 miles) off its coast – hit­ting Ja­panese con­trolled waters for the first time.

Ms Inada has a his­tory of ir­ri­tat­ing Asian neigh­bours such as China and South Korea.

She has been a reg­u­lar visi­tor to the con­tentious Ya­sukuni war shrine in Tokyo and has played a lead­ing role in an LDP study group launched last year to re­view Ja­pan’s his­tory, re­port­edly tak­ing up con­tentious is­sues, such as the Nan­jing mas­sacre and the Tokyo war crimes tri­als.

In 2011 she and two other con­ser­va­tive Ja­panese politi­cians had planned to visit Ulle­ung is­land, the clos­est South Korean ter­ri­tory to the Seoul con­trolled Dokdo is­lands in the Sea of Ja­pan (East Sea), which are known in Ja­pan as Takeshima. –

Photo: AFP

New De­fence Min­is­ter To­momi Inada has ir­ri­tated China and South Korea.

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