Shimajiri to be assistant to Okinawa Affairs Minister
According to press reports, the Japanese government is making arrangements to create a special assistant position to Aiko Shimajiri, the former Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs, who lost her seat in the Upper House elections last month.
According to the plan, Shimajiri would become a special assistant officer to Yosuke Tsuruho, her successor in the ministerial position. According to an inside source, Yoshihide Suga, the Chief Cabinet Secretary, sounded out her opinion on the matter after the reshuffle of the Cabinet on Aug. 3rd.
This kind of personnel change that the former minister becomes an assistant officer is quite unusual. It would mean that Shimajiri would continue to wield a certain degree of political clout in matters regarding Okinawa. In her new position, Shimajiri is supposed to support Tsuruho by advising about the current state of Okinawa affairs.
At a press conference Shimajiri held after leaving the minister’s post, she made a statement regarding her future political activities and status as “clean”, and added that she would like to continue taking part in political activities for people of Okinawa. She was the Chairwoman of the Liberal Democratic Party Okinawa branch.