Toshimitsu Motegi

Toshimitsu Motegi (茂木 敏充, Motegi Toshimitsu, born 7 October 1955) is a Japanese politician of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Tsushima Faction, and a member of the House of Representatives in the Diet (national legislature), representing Tochigi Prefecture's fifth electoral district, and has served as Minister for Foreign Affairs since a Cabinet re-shuffle by Prime Minister Shinzō Abe on 11 September 2019.

Toshimitsu Motegi
茂木 敏充
Motegi during the WEF 2013
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Assumed office
11 September 2019
Prime MinisterShinzō Abe
Preceded byTarō Kōno
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry
In office
26 December 2012  3 September 2014
Prime MinisterShinzo Abe
Preceded byYukio Edano
Succeeded byYuko Obuchi
Personal details
Born (1955-10-07) 7 October 1955
Ashikaga, Tochigi, Japan
Political partyLiberal Democratic Party
Alma materUniversity of Tokyo
Harvard University
WebsiteOfficial website

Early life and education

A native of Ashikaga, Tochigi, Motegi was born on 7 October 1955.[1] He attended the University of Tokyo and received a post-graduate Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.[1]


Motegi worked for trading company Marubeni Corporation, as a political reporter for Yomiuri Shimbun and at the consultancy McKinsey & Co. He was also a visiting professor at Waseda University's graduate school of Global Information and Telecommunication Studies from 2005 to 2010.[1]

He was elected to the House of Representatives for the first time in 1993 as a member of the Japan New Party. He joined the LDP in 1995.[2]

Described as an experienced and knowledgeable international businessman, Motegi served in various cabinet positions including vice foreign minister and state minister in charge of Okinawa and the Northern Territories, as well as science and technology policy. On 1 August 2008, Yasuo Fukuda appointed him as state minister in charge of financial services and administrative reforms.[2] On 26 December 2012, Motegi was named as Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry.[3]

He has been moved by Abe to LDP headquarters as head of election strategy.[4]

In 2018, Motegi was revealed to have possibly breached Japan's electoral laws. He was accused of making illegal donations of incense sticks to his constituents through his personal secretary. Opposition parties have been calling for his resignation.[5]

Motegi condemned the 2019 Turkish offensive into north-eastern Syria. He said in a statement: "Japan is deeply concerned that the latest military operation would make the settlement of Syrian crisis more difficult and cause further deterioration of the humanitarian situation. Japan once again underscores its position that the Syrian crisis cannot be solved by any military means."[6]

Personal life

His hobbies include sports, travel, and reading.[2]


  1. "Abe Cabinet". The Japan Times. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  2. Japan Times, "Fukuda's new lineup", 3 August 2008.
  3. "Abe to tap Toshimitsu Motegi as trade minister". Global Times. 25 December 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  4. 5/11/2014
  5. Reynolds, Isabel; Nobuhiro, Emi (2 February 2018). "Incense Sticks Come Back to Burn Japan's Economy Minister". Bloomberg. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  6. "Countries unite to oppose Turkey's Syria operation". NBC News. 10 October 2019.
Political offices
Preceded by
Yukio Edano
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry
Succeeded by
Yuko Obuchi
Preceded by
Tarō Kōno
Minister of Foreign Affairs

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