While most observers of Japanese politics are justifiably fixated on the Upper House election on July 21, there is another important political event that will follow shortly thereafter: a Cabinet reshuffle. The lack of attention is in part due to the fact that administrations are notoriously guarded about when they will reshuffle Cabinet ministers, meaning the rumor mill does not typically start generating news stories until a week or so out. Still, given the timing of the Upper House election and the past behavior of the Abe administration, the Cabinet is due for a shake-up.

While the reshuffle is unlikely to see any high profile changes in the current lineup, the ensuing Cabinet and sub-Cabinet appointments will signal how much political capital Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has going into the extraordinary session of the Diet later this year through to the 2020 Olympics.

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