I tried to become a ministerial secretary March 4, 12:18

"How about the minister!" The

minister asked for an answer in the Diet, and at that time, the figure of a bureaucrat who gently handed a memo from behind.

Secretary of the Minister.

What kind of people are they?

This time, I followed it through the training of a bureaucrat.

(Naoko Baba)

One-day ministerial secretary

One day, in front of the Prime Minister's Office, the ministers get off from the black-painted cars arriving one after another.

This is to attend the cabinet meeting.

Bureaucrats with bags come down about the ministers.

They are secretaries.

Among all the veterans, there was a particularly young woman.

Chihiro Asakura (25) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

She is not a regular secretary.

He participated in the "One-day Secretary Training" to experience secretaries mainly in the third year of entering the ministry.

What is the Minister's Secretary?

In addition to the secretary, there are deputy ministers and parliamentary secretaries in positions to assist the minister.

Both the Deputy Minister and Parliamentary Secretary are appointed by the Cabinet from among the members of the Diet in order to implement policies and plans led by politics.

He is also called the "three political affairs" along with the minister, as he sometimes responds to press conferences and the Diet.

There are two types of secretaries.

A political secretary and a secretary.

The Secretary of State is appointed by the Prime Minister, with the Minister choosing from among the secretaries of his office.

Not only the affairs related to the minister, but also the handling of petitions and party affairs, so to speak, he is a "everything shop".

The secretary is selected from the bureaucrats of each ministry and appointed by the minister.

It connects the minister and staff and acts as a minister's sword, from schedule management to parliamentary response.

Since it is necessary to have a wide range of understanding of the projects that the ministry is working on, mid-career staff who have been in the ministry for about 20 years are often in charge.

It is this secretary that Asakura will experience this time.

Start from the morning newspaper check at 6 am

Asakura who went to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology before 6 am.

Unlike usual, he appeared in a dark suit.

It seems to match the image of a secretary who is devoted to the minister's "Kuroko".

The minister's office is on the 11th floor.

The secretaries are packing the room next to it.

There was a person who was commuting earlier than Asakura.

Hiroshi Umehara, who has been in the ministry for 20 years.

He is the secretary of Minister Koichi Hagiuda.

He has a wide range of practical experience, including science and technology policies, elementary and junior high school and high school education policies, and working at the Russian embassy.

In this training, he served as an instructor for Asakura.

A newspaper check is essential for a secretary every morning.

Look through every corner to see if there are any articles related to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, if there are any articles that the minister might be interested in, or if the minister himself is an article.

If you find it, don't copy it ...

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology also has jurisdiction over copyright.

For this reason, Umehara slams into his head and reports any important articles.

If there is an article that you want the minister to read in writing, bring the newspaper itself.

The next thing to do is to confirm the minister's schedule.

Cabinet meeting and ministerial meeting in the morning.

Corresponding to the Diet in the afternoon.

The secretary keeps in mind the flow of the day.

Then they got in a car and went to pick up the minister at the parliamentary dormitory in Akasaka, Minato-ku.

By car, it takes less than 10 minutes to travel from the parliamentary dormitory to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

But for the secretary, it's a precious time in the morning to coordinate schedules with the minister and report on the morning newspaper.

7:30, Minister Lek

Arrived at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology with the Minister around 7:30 am.

"Minister Lek" will start soon.

What will the minister ask at press conferences and parliamentary deliberations?

How do you answer it?

After hearing the purpose and content of the question from members of the Diet in advance, each section in the ministry should prepare a "assumed question and answer" paper by the morning.

There are criticisms that such a setup is a hotbed for long working hours, but it is indispensable for accurate information dissemination to the people.

Persons in charge gather in the minister's office and explain based on the "assumed questions and answers."

The focus of the day was that the president of Asahikawa Medical University in Hokkaido made an inappropriate statement about a private hospital where the new coronavirus infection had spread.

While the university apologized, the former hospital director of the university hospital was dismissed for leaking the remarks of the meeting to the outside, and there was a fuss.

"Please check the facts carefully" is checked by the


Here, the final wording is adjusted and adjusted.

Press conference in the corridor at 8:30

Around 8:30 am when the cabinet meeting I wrote at the beginning was completed.

Heading to the Diet from the official residence with the minister.

Since the Budget Committee of the House of Representatives will meet before 9 am, the post-Cabinet ministerial conference was to be held in the corridor of the Diet.

Minister in a hurry.

Asakura also keeps up with a short run.

In fact, in the case of a press conference in the corridor, each minister has a fixed position.

In the case of Hagiuda, it is the corridor in front of the member cafeteria on the second floor of the House of Representatives.

The press conference started immediately.

In the hands of the minister, there is an "assumed question and answer" given by the secretary.

When the reporter asks a question, Asakura looks at the minister's hand.

The minister is checking to see if he can find an answer to the reporter's question.

It was strongly instructed in advance by the instructor Umehara.

Focus on each question and answer.

Questions to the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology are wide-ranging, including sports, culture, and political movements, including the administration of education and science.

The number of assumed questions and answers also increases and becomes thicker.

If the minister cannot find the answer immediately, the secretary will offer it immediately.

If you have an unexpected question, I wrote it down by hand and sometimes handed it over.

Although it was only a few minutes, there were many questions about Asahikawa Medical University's problems, accounting for 2 out of 3 questions.

The content was immediately reported.

"A word from the minister will indicate the direction of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology,"

Asakura said.

Afternoon parliamentary debate

The House of Representatives Budget Committee, which started before 9 am, continued in the afternoon with a lunch break.

All ministers, including the Prime Minister, attended the deliberation on that day.

There is also a TV broadcast.

He had been notified in advance that he might have questions in the sports field.

Asakura was standing behind the minister, but the minister had no chance to answer.

I felt a sense of tension and a unique atmosphere.

Before 5 pm, next is the House of Representatives Education and Science Committee.

A bill was deliberated to create a 10 trillion yen fund to support global R & D and young researchers.

Unlike the Budget Committee, which also has other ministers, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology will mainly answer.

The deliberation and response materials, which last for nearly two and a half hours, will be thickened.

As soon as veteran Umehara took the seat behind the minister, he spread the materials on his desk and started preparing.

No matter what question was asked, he was prepared to prepare an answer immediately.

Is there anything wrong with the content of the answer, or is there an unexpected question?

I concentrated on what I said.

Umehara suddenly stood up when explaining the purpose of the bill.

Run to the side of the minister and show the answer documents.

The minister replied that what should have been called "authorization" was "permission."

It looks similar, but this is not.

The answer from the committee remains in the minutes, so you can't make a mistake word for word.

The minister immediately corrected it and got nothing.

I was relieved to see Asakura and Umehara's immediate actions while watching the secretary's movements on the committee.

"If this was me,"

he said he felt the secretary's heavy responsibility again.

After the parliamentary schedule is over, the minister will be sent to the Members' Office Building, where the office is located.

This completes the job of "secretary".

From here, it's time for "Political Secretary"-

Why secretary experience

Why make young bureaucrats experience a secretary?

According to a summary by the Cabinet Personnel Bureau, the number of bureaucrats who retired for their own reasons in 2019 as general employees in their 20s (so-called “career” executive candidates) increased to 86, more than quadrupled from 21 in 2013. did.

One in seven male employees under the age of 30 said they would like to quit within a few years.

The main reasons were "long working hours" and "work worthwhile".

The number of applicants for the general employment examination in the spring of 2020 was 16,730, the fourth consecutive year of decline, the lowest since 2012 when the current employment system was introduced.

The National Personnel Authority said, "In addition to the motivation to hire competing private companies such as consulting, students' awareness of work is also diversifying. Has a variety of jobs. "

How can you make your young career feel rewarding?

During the examination, it was this secretary's experience that I started with the idea of ​​Minister Hagiuda, thinking that there may be cases where motivation will increase if you experience something different from usual.

"I think young employees are digging tunnels without clearly seeing their destinations. If you look closely at the policy-making process, you may become aware of it and feel responsible," he


"Uncomfortable feeling" of young bureaucrats

It is said that Asakura's motivation for aspiring to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology was influenced by the fact that his parents living in Fukui Prefecture were teachers.

After graduating from university, I thought about returning to my hometown to teach, but my parents pushed me back, saying, "It's a waste to have a chance to work at a university in Tokyo."

"In that case, even if you are not a teacher, you want to give back to the administration for education," he said.

I entered the ministry in 2018.

That year, a corruption case of a director-general executive came to light.

In the previous year, systematic amakudari became a problem, and it was a time of great turmoil when the administrative vice-minister resigned for two consecutive generations.

The first person I was assigned to was the Children and Students Division of the Elementary and Secondary Education Bureau.

He is in charge of issues such as bullying, school refusal, and abuse in elementary and junior high schools.

It was the start as a so-called liaison who was involved in inquiries from members of the Diet and the preparation of answers to the Diet, but it was only the first time and it was fun even in the busy work of working hard.

The following year, a big "incident" occurred.

In Noda City, Chiba Prefecture, his father was charged with injury and death for killing his eldest daughter in the fourth grade of elementary school in a cold shower.

The girl complained of violence from her father in a school survey, but the city's board of education gave her a copy of the survey.

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has set up a working team to verify the response of the Board of Education and consider measures to prevent recurrence, and Asakura was also busy responding.

After a while, I began to feel the distance from the educational field.

"At that time, I was crazy about it, but when I looked back, I couldn't feel the results. I wasn't in charge of recurrence prevention measures, and I didn't feel that my work had improved the site. "

It is said that this incident raised a small question about his work.

"Teachers are unique to students, but I thought that if my work were successful as an organization, I wouldn't have to be me. What is work these days, what is the purpose of life in the first place? In my

third year as a member of society, I learned all about my work, but it was time to realize the difference between the image I had in mind and the reality.

Can you find "rewarding"?

Asakura, who returned to his usual workplace after a week of training as a secretary, said:

"I was able to feel that I was working at the center of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in the training."

He said that he returned to the original intention of working here for more children.

It will be difficult for all young bureaucrats to regain their job satisfaction just because they have been secretaries.

However, there may be some bureaucrats who can re-recognize "rewarding" with a little chance.

In addition to this, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology holds a competition once a year where young people can propose policies that they want to work on, regardless of their affiliation or position, and has begun efforts to realize excellent policies.

We will continue to search for effective methods.

How to maintain the "rewarding" of young people, or how to get them rediscovered.

Kasumigaseki, an elite group, has not yet solved this difficult problem.

(Honorific titles omitted in the text, the photo at the beginning is also provided by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)

Naoko Baba, a



, joined in 2015. Political department from Nagasaki station. In charge of Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Covered the educational administration of Corona. "Bunka" apprentice.