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Japanese PM set to reshuffle cabinet

Posted on Aug 26 2014 | IANS

Tokyo, Aug 26 : Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Tuesday said he would reshuffle his cabinet Sep 3, the first time since 2012 when he took office.

"I would like to make fresh changes as we enter the second chapter of Japan's recovery featuring national security and regional economies," Xinhua quoted Abe as saying at a meeting of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

Regarding the reshuffle, Abe said he intends to retain Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, Finance Minister Taro Aso and Economics Minister Akira Amari.

Abe invited LDP secretary general Shigeru Ishiba to become the state minister in-charge of national security, but was turned down by the latter.

The current cabinet of 18 members has not been changed for more than 600 days, which triggered discontent among the ruling party.

Not only that, it rubber-stamped a resolution July 1 to lift the ban on Japan's collective self defence right, resulting in a sharp drop in its support rate.

Political observers here aver that Abe is keen to stem this discontent as also bring in new faces, including more women, in his cabinet.

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