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Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Saturday started work on choosing new senior vice ministers and parliamentary secretaries after reshuffling his Cabinet the previous day.

While Kan didn’t pick anyone from the Democratic Party of Japan intraparty group headed by rival Ichiro Ozawa for his new Cabinet or the party leadership, the prime minister is considering appointing politicians who supported Ozawa in the DPJ presidential election in an appeal to party unity, sources close to him said.

The appointments of new senior vice ministers and parliamentary secretaries will be approved at a Cabinet meeting Tuesday, following the three-day weekend. They will then have to get ready for the extraordinary Diet session expected to convene Oct. 6.

Asked at a news conference Friday evening about how he will treat Ozawa’s group, Kan said: “It has many young lawmakers. I hope people will see (how I treat them) in the upcoming list of new senior vice ministers and parliamentary secretaries.”

Banri Kaieda, who backed Ozawa and was appointed Friday as the minister responsible for economic and fiscal policy, said, “I believe those who belong to the Ozawa group will be appointed as senior vice ministers and parliamentary secretaries.”

Meanwhile, DPJ policy chief Koichiro Genba said the ruling party has decided to set up a team to promote reform in taxation and social security.

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