Fumio Kishida has attempted to draw a line under a political funds scandal by replacing Liberal Democratic Party executives and Cabinet ministers, but the limited number of viable candidates not suspected of misconduct means the new appointees look more likely to be stopgap replacements.

Some initial candidates had even turned down Kishida's offer of a post to avoid exposing themselves to significant political risk for the benefit of the prime minister.

Kisaburo Tokai, who served as education minister in 2007 under Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, replaced Koichi Hagiuda as LDP policy chief, while former Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada became the party’s parliamentary affairs chief, replacing Tsuyoshi Takagi. Neither Tokai nor Hamada belong to a party faction, while both Hagiuda and Takagi are members of the party’s largest faction, which used to be headed by late former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.