One word was probably in the mind of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when he reshuffled the Cabinet and the Liberal Democratic Party's leadership on Wednesday: stability.

In his first Cabinet reorganization since winning a second term as prime minister in December 2012, Abe retained six of his original 18 ministers, defying growing frustration among rank-and-file members desperately yearning for a prestigious Cabinet post.

In addition, Abe tapped five women as ministers — equaling the record set by former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi — to refresh the conservative LDP's image by reaffirming his commitment to promoting the status of women in Japan's male-dominated society.