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Japan: Diet Enacts Law to Create Civil Service Personnel Bureau
Source: the-japan-news.com
Source Date: Friday, April 11, 2014
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, Knowledge Management in Government, Citizen Engagement, Internet Governance
Country: Japan
Created: Apr 15, 2014

The House of Councillors passed a bill into law on Friday to reform the national civil servant system, featuring the establishment of a cabinet personnel affairs bureau in the Cabinet Secretariat responsible for the appointment of senior government officials.


The bill was approved at a plenary meeting of the upper house by a majority vote with support mainly from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, its coalition partner New Komeito and the largest opposition Democratic Party of Japan.


The House of Representatives approved the bill last month.


The bill is aimed at eliminating sectionalism among ministries and agencies, by allowing the Prime Minister’s Office to take the lead in personnel appointments.


The government hopes to launch the new bureau in May—and for it to be fully operational soon after the end of the current ordinary Diet session on June 22—to conduct personnel changes planned for this summer.


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to name Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kazuhiro Sugita to double as head of the bureau, which will have a staff of about 160. The just-enacted law stipulates that the head of the bureau should be appointed by the prime minister from among the three deputy chief cabinet secretaries.


The government has, to date, decided the appointments of about 200 director generals of bureaus at ministries and agencies, and higher-ranking officials, through meetings between members including the chief cabinet secretary.


Under the legislation, the chief cabinet secretary will compile a list of candidates for senior government posts. Based on the list, cabinet ministers will consult with the prime minister and the chief cabinet secretary to decide the appointments of about 600 officials.

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