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Abe eyes minor Cabinet reshuffle in September

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is planning a minor shake-up in his Cabinet in September to push his policy agenda, according to senior lawmakers in the Liberal Democratic Party.

The reshuffle will come as the terms for some party executives run out at the end of September, the Diet members said Tuesday.

Abe intends to strengthen policy coordination within the LDP and handling of legislative affairs ahead of an extraordinary Diet session likely to be convened in the fall, the lawmakers said.

The Diet session is expected to deal with the planned hike in the consumption tax and Japan’s participation in negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement.

Also at issue will be a bill to encourage corporate realignment and boost capital spending — a key part of Abe’s growth strategy.

Although details still need to be worked out, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and LDP Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba are likely to stay on, according to the lawmakers.

But LDP policy chief Sanae Takaichi, who has recently come under fire for comments that were taken as making light of people affected by the Fukushima nuclear crisis, is likely on the way out, they said.