Japan PM reshuffles cabinet, aims to boost public support
Tokyo, Sep. 11 (IANS): Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday reshuffled his cabinet with the hefty revamp aimed at boosting public support while retaining the services of his allies holding similar political views in key ministerial and executive positions.
The reshuffle, which followed a revamp of his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) executive lineup earlier Monday, has seen 17 of Abe’s 19 cabinet ministers either replaced or reassigned within the government, with as many as 13 new ministers being introduced, reported Xinhua news.
Finance Minister Taro Aso, who doubles as deputy prime Minister, and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga have retained their positions, as they have served as particularly close allies of Abe in their respective posts, held since Abe returned to power in 2012.
In other key moves, Foreign Minister Taro Kono was picked as Defence Minister and Economic Revitalisation Minister Toshimitsu Motegi was given the Foreign Minister portfolio.
In a move aimed at increasing public support for the party, 38-year-old Shinjiro Koizumi, son of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who is believed by some media outlets to be in the running for the top post in the future and is a hit with the public, was given a cabinet position and will take up the environment minister portfolio in his first role as a minister.
In other moves aimed at shoring up support among his administration Koichi Hagiuda, executive acting secretary general of the LDP was named Education Minister.
Abe’s current term will end in 2021. He will become the longest-serving prime Minister in the country’s history on November 20 this year.
He had earlier headed the Japanese government between 2006 and 2007.