TOKYO, Sept 12 (NNN-NHK) – Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, reshuffled his cabinet, 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 shakeup of his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) executive lineup earlier Monday, seen 17 of the prime minister’s 19 cabinet ministers either replaced or reassigned within the government, with as many as 13 new ministers being introduced.
Finance Minister Taro Aso, who doubles as deputy prime minister, and Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga, retained their positions, as they have served as particularly close allies of the prime minister 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 improving public support for the ruling party, 38-year-old Shinjiro Koizumi, son of former Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi, 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, while Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yasutoshi Nishimura will now assume the position of Economic Revitalisation Minister.
Abe named upper house lawmaker, Seiko Hashimoto, as Minister in charge of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, bringing the number of females in his cabinet to two, and from the LDP’s junior coalition Komeito ally, Kazuyoshi Akaba replacing Keiichi Ishii as Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
Shunichi Suzuki, meanwhile, will relinquish his post as Olympics Minister, and be reassigned as the chairperson of the LDP’s decision-making General Council.
Hakubun Shimomura, for his part, will serve as chairperson of the LDP’s Election Strategy Committee.– NNN-NHK