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Abe keeps LDP leadership lineup; minor Cabinet change seen

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe maintained the lineup of his Liberal Democratic Party executives Tuesday, though he is expected to reshuffle lower-ranking members of the Cabinet later this month, party lawmakers said.

The party’s general council backed Abe’s decision to keep Shigeru Ishiba as secretary-general and Masahiko Komura as vice president among other key lawmakers. Their terms were extended for another year through September 2014 after they helped lead the party to an overwhelming victory in July’s Upper House election, ending years of opposition control in the upper chamber.

Other executives who retained their posts included Seiko Noda, chair of the general council, Sanae Takaichi, head of the policy research council, and Takeo Kawamura, election committee chief.

Abe has determined that his current Cabinet ministers will remain in office at least until next summer, rejecting voices within the LDP that ministers and party executives alike should be changed to let other members gain experience in crucial posts.

Abe has cited that it has been less than a year since the LDP returned to power. But he also suggested earlier this month he would reshuffle the Cabinet after the ordinary Diet session that ends next summer.

He will instead change his senior vice ministers and parliamentary secretaries — posts to be assumed by relatively young lawmakers — to assuage disgruntled younger LDP members.