PROFILE: Retained transport minister Saito is Komeito deputy

Tetsuo Saito, retained as transport minister, is the deputy leader of the Komeito party, the junior coalition partner of the Liberal Democratic Party, and known for being one of the most avid train enthusiasts in the political circle.

Since assuming the post of the minister of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism under the administration of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida last October, Saito has dealt with issues such as the April sinking of a tourist boat off the Shiretoko Peninsula in Hokkaido.

A former engineer with a doctoral degree, the 70-year-old researched the development of space at major construction firm Shimizu Corp. before first being elected to the House of Representatives in 1993. He previously served as environment minister and Komeito's secretary general and policy chief.

© Kyodo News