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Koizumi's cabinet job thrusts political wunderkind under spotlight

Young lawmaker held up as next prime minister despite thin resume

Lower house lawmaker Shinjiro Koizumi, left, and TV personality Christel Takigawa announced their engagement Aug. 7 on a visit to the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo.

TOKYO -- When Shinjiro Koizumi takes over as Japan's new environment minister, the 38-year-old lower house member will have a chance to prove that he can walk the walk.

The post marks a coup for Koizumi, who will become the youngest male cabinet member in postwar Japan. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet reshuffle caps a monthlong span that has seen Koizumi's political star rise even faster.

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