Japanese PM reshuffles cabinet, key posts remain unchanged

Updated: 2015-10-07 14:55


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TOKYO - Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga on Wednesday announced a new lineup of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet, with key posts unchanged and 10 new faces being ushered in.

Among the 19 cabinet posts, Vice Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Defense Minister Gen Nakatani, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, and Economic Minister Akira Amari, remained their positions.

Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare Yasuhisa Shiozaki, Internal Affairs and Communication Minister Takaichi Sanae, Shigeru Ishiba, minister in charge of revitalizing local economy and Toshiaki Endo, minister in charge of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, also stayed in their posts.

The prime minister maintained the major framework of his cabinet in a move to continue implementing his economic and security policies such as his new arrows under "Abenomics," controversial security legislation and lately concluded TPP free trade talks.

Katsunobu Kato was appointed as the minister in charge of creating a society in which all 100 million people can be active. The post was newly created under the prime minister's "Abenomics 2. 0."

Former Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Hakubun Shimomura was replaced by wrestler-turned- politician Hiroshi Hase, after the former submitted resignation over the scandal of the main venue plan change of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The cabinet reshuffle by the prime minister came after his victory in the Liberal Democratic Party presidential election last month and a big dive in cabinet support rate in recent months since the government here and the Abe-led ruling bloc forcedly enacted controversial security legislations.

For the other posts in the prime minister's new cabinet, Mitsuhide Iwaki was appointed as justice minister and Hiroshi Moriyama is named as agriculture, forestry and fisheries minister. Motoo Hayashi replaced scandal-hit Yoichi Miyazawa as minister of economy, trade and industry.

Taro Kono was appointed as minister in charge of administrative reform and he also serves as disaster management minister and chairperson of the National Public Safety Commission.

Keiichi Ishii, policy chief of the Komeito Party, the LDP's junior ruling partner, replaced Akihiro Ota as minister of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism.

Two females, Tamayo Marukawa, 44, a TV newscaster-turned- politician, and Aiko Shimajiri, 50, were appointed as environment minister and state minister in charge of Okinawa and Northern Territories respectively in line with Abe's call to boost women's social status.

Takagi Tsuyoshi was named minister for reconstruction.

Several cabinet ministers appointed during Abe's second cabinet reshuffle last year resigned due to misuse of political funds.

Earlier in the day, Abe also reshuffled the executives of his ruling LDP and the top five executives -- Vice President Masahiko Komura, Secretary General Sadakazu Tanigaki, Policy Research Council Chairwoman Tomomi Inada, General Council Chairman Toshihiro Nikai, and Election Strategy Committee Chairman Toshimitsu Motegi -- retained their posts.