Japanese PM Kishida to reshuffle Cabinet

Japanese PM Kishida to reshuffle Cabinet

HIROSHIMA prime minister Fumio Kishida said on Aug. 6 he would reshuffle his cabinet as well as the executive lineup of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in the coming week.

The personnel changes will be announced on Aug. 10, according to several government and LDP sources.

Kishida said at a news conference after attending a ceremony to mark the 77th anniversary of the city's atomic bombing, I always felt that I wanted to put a new structure in place as soon as possible to deal with the pressing issues facing the nation. He pointed out the urgency of the seventh wave of the COVID 19 crisis, the surging consumer prices, as well as diplomatic issues regarding Ukraine and Taiwan, strengthening the nation's defense, managing natural disasters and implementing measures to breathe new life into the economy.

Kishida also called for strengthened security ahead of a planned state funeral on Sept. 27 for Shinzo Abe, the former prime minister gunned down in Nara on July 8.

Kishida was asked if his personnel choices would be affected by the ties potential Cabinet ministers would have to the Unification Church, formally known as the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.

I want not only those who will be newly appointed, but all current ministers and senior vice ministers to carefully look into their ties with the organization in question and to release the results of that study, Kishida said. I will give instructions to review any such ties to make sure they are appropriate. Sources said on Aug. 6 that Kishida intended to keep Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, LDP Vice President Taro Aso and LDP Secretary-General Toshimitsu Motegi in their current positions in order to maintain the core part of his administration.

LDP stalwarts anticipated that personnel changes would be made between late August and early September.

Kishida said that he always felt that changes should be made as soon as possible.

While it remains to be seen how drastic the reshuffle will be, Kishida has two ministers who basically have private sector status because they did not stand for re-election in the July 10 Upper House election.

Decisions about Abe's state funeral and how much it will cost will have to be made by the end of August and central government ministries will submit their requests for the fiscal 2023 budget around the same time.