New Defense Minister Minoru Kihara is likely to pursue deepened ties with Taipei due to his background serving as secretary general of a cross-party group dedicated to boosting Japan-Taiwan relations.

The 54-year-old House of Representatives member Kihara was a special national security adviser to former prime ministers Shinzo Abe and Yoshihide Suga.

A Waseda University graduate, Kihara worked for Japan Airlines Co. before being selected through public recruitment to run as a Liberal Democratic Party candidate from a Kumamoto constituency in southwestern Japan and becoming a lawmaker in 2005.


© Kyodo News International, Inc., source Newswire