Reading a NHK NEWS article, I stumbled over three different expressions for minister of defence. Is there a difference between 防衛相, 防衛大臣 and 国防相?

  • No difference between 防衛相 and 防衛大臣 for me. you can find the definition of 防衛相 on Wikipedia. 2007年(平成19年)1月の防衛庁から防衛省への昇格に伴い、長の職名は長官から大臣になった。略称は防衛相である And 国防省 日本では防衛省だが、英語での名称は他国の国防省と同じである – HING Oct 20 '18 at 13:37
  • Also the pronunciation of 防衛相 (the minister) and 防衛省 (the ministry) is the same so using 防衛大臣 helps eliminate misunderstanding. Same for 財務大臣・財務相・財務省 and 外務大臣・外務相・外務省 etc. ~大臣 is the formal name from a legal standpoint meaning that in laws and ordinances ~相 isn't used. – softbear Oct 23 '18 at 7:50

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