Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s new Cabinet — ostensibly reshuffled to continue his Abenomics policy push — also signals the start of a political race that could critically alter Japan’s course in the near future and begs the question: Who will take the reins after Abe?

In appointing Cabinet members and Liberal Democratic Party executives, Abe has repeatedly tapped political rivals for key positions, a tactic seen as designed to silence criticism against the administration from within.

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