NEW YORK – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday he will shuffle his Cabinet and appoint executives of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Oct. 2 following his victory in the LDP presidential election last week.
Speaking at a news conference in New York, Abe said he plans to retain Finance Minister Taro Aso, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and deputy chief Cabinet secretaries Yasutoshi Nishimura and Kotaro Nogami.
With the reshuffle, Abe said, he would like to make a “powerful start” to leading the country beyond the Heisei Era, which will end next year.
Referring to key members of the current group such as Aso, Suga and his deputies, the prime minister said, “Based on this firm foundation, I would like to offer a chance for many members to play an active part” in his administration.
Abe also plans to retain LDP Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai and Fumio Kishida, chairman of the LDP Policy Research Council.
“The LDP is a treasure house of human resources,” Abe said. “I would like to think thoroughly” about personnel appointments.
After returning home Friday, Abe will speed up the reshuffle process with next year’s nationwide local elections and the House of Councilors election in sight.
In the LDP election on Sept. 20, Abe beat challenger Shigeru Ishiba, a former defense minister, winning another three-year term that paves the way for him to become Japan’s longest-serving prime minister.
Abe returned to power in December 2012. He previously served as prime minister for a year to September 2007.
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