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Policy continuity, factional power plays and surprise appointments characterized the new Cabinet launched Tuesday by Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, who hopes his new team will help him and his Liberal Democratic Party survive the months leading to next summer’s Upper House election.

While keeping many of the key ministers from his old team, Mori also persuaded former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto to join the new Cabinet, doing so only hours before he announced the ministerial lineup.

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