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Japan Is Too Old-Fashioned, Says One of Youngest Ministers Ever

  • Koizumi blasts paternity leave ‘fuss’ after joining cabinet
  • 38-year-old minister favored to succeed Abe as premier
Shinjiro Koizumi on Sept. 11.
Shinjiro Koizumi on Sept. 11.Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg
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One of Japan’s youngest-ever cabinet ministers -- and the public’s favorite to succeed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe -- criticized the country’s “old-fashioned” ways on his first day in the government.

Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi, 38, made the comment in response to a controversy over whether he should take paternity leave when his pregnant wife gives birth. Koizumi, who’s the son of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, bolstered his already high profile when he touched on the idea after announcing his marriage to a well-known TV newscaster, adding that she was expecting a baby.