Before getting down to business on cutting Japan's enormous debt, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda decided to take the blade to another bristly problem.
Escorted by security officers, the new prime minister left his hotel in his official car and headed to his regular barber near the Finance Ministry in Tokyo on the morning of Sept. 3.
After the 10-minute cut and spending only 1,000 yen (about $13) from his pocket, Noda emerged a new man.
"I feel refreshed now," he said after the low-priced haircut.
Noda has used the same barbershop since becoming finance minister in June 2010. His previous visit to the shop was in early August.
His latest haircut came a day after he appointed members to his new Cabinet, including ministers expected to help him achieve his goal of increasing taxes to help resolve the nation's ballooning fiscal woes.