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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 August 9 - 15  > PM Abe appoints ex-intelligence officer to key post to exert control over bureaucrats
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2017 August 9 - 15 [POLITICS]

PM Abe appoints ex-intelligence officer to key post to exert control over bureaucrats

August 12, 2017
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, on the sidelines with the latest Cabinet reshuffle, appointed a former official of the Public Security Intelligence Agency to the post of director general of the Cabinet Bureau of Personnel Affairs. The bureau is a tool of the Abe government to place the bureaucracy under the control of the Prime Minister’s Office.

The Cabinet Bureau of Personnel Affairs was established in May 2014 for the purpose of managing appointments of top level bureaucrats at ministries and agencies of the central government in an integrated fashion. Owing to the establishment of the cabinet personnel bureau, no ministry or agency can choose senior officials within each office. The Prime Minister’s Office maintains absolute control over state bureaucrats.

Regarding the “Moritomo” and “Kake” scandals, senior bureaucrats of scandal-related ministries in Diet meetings repeatedly responded to questions raised by opposition party Dietmembers by saying, “I don’t remember,” or “I discarded the materials.” This shows how strongly the Prime Minister’s Office exercises its control over high level bureaucrats.
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