Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Monday told a key minister to put a priority on restoring the nation's confidence in nuclear safety, Kyodo news reported.
"The premier gave me a three-point plan in writing. First of all, he called for utmost efforts to restore the people's confidence in nuclear safety administration," Takeo Hiranuma said at his first press conference after being reappointed as minister of economy, trade and industry in a cabinet shuffle.
The second and third items concerned taking measures centering on technological innovations to revitalize the Japanese economy and ensuring energy policies, he said.
The 63-year-old House of Representatives member has served as trade minister for two years and three months after becoming the international trade and industry minister, the former title of thepost, in July 2000.
With Monday's appointment, however, Hiranuma will likely surpass Hajime Tamura, one of his predecessors who served two years and five months from 1986 to 1988 as the longest-serving trade minister.