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Abe hopes to tap women in September reshuffle of Cabinet, LDP leadership

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday that he plans to reshuffle his Cabinet and Liberal Democratic Party leadership in the first week of September.

Speaking to reporters in the capital of Chile, the fourth leg of his five-nation tour of Latin America, Abe spoke of his readiness to tap women for Cabinet posts and executive positions in his ruling party.

“Utilizing women is an important issue,” Abe said. “The LDP has a variety of talented individuals — women, men, senior . . . and junior members. I would like to put the right people in the right jobs.”

He added that “nothing has been decided” about whether key players Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and LDP Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba will retain their posts or assume new positions.

On the possibility of further sanctions against Russia, the prime minister said Japan will “continue to work closely with its Group of Seven partners and the international community and take appropriate steps.”

The G-7 major industrialized nations are Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

Regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin’s planned visit to Japan in the fall, which was confirmed by the two leaders at a summit in February, Abe said: “Nothing has been decided. We will consider it by looking at various factors.”

Abe’s Latin American trip has included stops in Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia and Chile. He will also visit Brazil before returning to Japan on Monday.