Shinzo Abe is likely to give Cabinet posts to his key supporters in the governing Liberal Democratic Party, including Senior Vice Foreign Minister Yasuhisa Shiozaki, after he formally becomes prime minister, ruling coalition lawmakers said Sunday.
Abe is also expected to appoint former Chief Cabinet Secretary Hidenao Nakagawa to a key position in the LDP, such as secretary general, or the party’s No. 2 leader, in a shakeup slated for Monday, they said.
Shiozaki was one of the key members of Abe’s campaign office prior to the party’s presidential election last Wednesday.
Other candidates for Cabinet members include former labor minister Akira Amari and Yuji Yamamoto, who heads the LDP’s Treasury Bureau, the lawmakers said, adding Amari may be appointed trade minister.
Amari served as secretary general of the campaign office and Yamamoto was chief of a group of LDP lawmakers supporting Abe’s policy of improving employment conditions mainly for young people.
Abe, guaranteed to be elected prime minister by the Diet on Tuesday, will appoint outgoing New Komeito Secretary General Tetsuzo Fuyushiba as minister of land, infrastructure and transport, the lawmakers said.
New Komeito, the LDP’s junior partner in the coalition, has traditionally one slot in the 17-member Cabinet and party heavyweight Kazuo Kitagawa currently serves as land minister.
The lawmakers did not rule out the possibility that Abe could name Foreign Minister Taro Aso, who placed second in the LDP election, as LDP secretary general.
Aso, known for his blunt and witty policy speeches, gained 136 votes, more than expected, in the LDP election. Abe received 464 votes.
Given his popularity, Abe may name Aso as his top deputy in the LDP and a billboard man for the party’s campaign in next summer’s House of Councilors election, they said.
In that case, Nakagawa, who currently serves as chairman of the LDP’s Policy Research Council, would stay in that post, they said.
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