Japan's Abe reshuffles cabinet, retains key ministers

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reshuffled his Cabinet on Tuesday.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reshuffled his Cabinet on Tuesday.

According to the 19-member list announced by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the prime minister reappointed six current Cabinet members, including Suga, Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, who doubles as finance minister, and Foreign Minister Taro Kono.

In an effort to keep policy continuity, the prime minister also retained Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko and Minister in charge of Economic Revitalization Toshimitsu Motegi.

To maintain relationship with the Komeito party, the LDP's junior coalition partner, Abe reappointed Keiichi Ishii as Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

Former Reconstruction Minister Takumi Nemoto returned to the Cabinet as Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare.

The prime minister also picked 12 newcomers, including Takeshi Iwaya, an eight-term House of Representatives member, who assumed the portfolio of Defense Minister.

Masahiko Shibayama, who has served as a special adviser to Abe in the LDP, was appointed the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

House of Councillors member Satsuki Katayama is the only woman in the new Cabinet and was appointed Minister of State for Regional Revitalization.

House of Representatives member Takashi Yamashita from Shigeru Ishiba's faction inside the ruling party was appointed Minister of Justice.

In the election held on September 20, Abe beat his sole rival, former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba, and won a third consecutive term as president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

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