National / Politics

Abe considering Cabinet reshuffle in September if LDP wins Upper House election

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering reshuffling his Cabinet and senior executives in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in mid-September if his party wins the Upper House election this weekend, senior administration officials said Thursday.

Arrangements are also being made to convene an extraordinary parliamentary session on Aug. 1 to pick the Upper House’s new president and vice president, according to the officials.

The envisaged reshuffle could take place in the week of Sept. 9, after Abe, the LDP’s president, finalizes the party’s leadership lineup following a series of diplomatic events, including the Group of Seven industrialized nations summit in France in late August.

In Sunday’s election, 124 seats will be contested as the current term for half of the House of Councilors expires July 28. The total number of seats in the chamber will increase by three to 245 this time due to the country’s electoral reform.

The LDP, projected by media polls to secure a solid win along with its coalition partner, Komeito, has already begun narrowing down candidates who can serve as president of the chamber.

According to the officials, the extra parliamentary session will run from Aug. 1 to 5, enabling the new Upper House president to attend ceremonies to mark the 74th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima on Aug. 6 and Nagasaki on Aug. 9.

In late August, France will host the G7 summit in Biarritz and an international conference on African development will be held in the city of Yokohama. An economic forum is scheduled for early September in Vladivostok, Russia.

After the short session in early August, another extraordinary Diet session will likely convene in early October, according to the officials.

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