Sources said that prime minister Fumio Kishida is considering naming economy minister Koichi Hagiuda as chairman of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party's Policy Research Council, as a move that could give hints to the balance of power within the LDP ahead of a reshuffle of cabinet and party executives set for Wednesday.
Hagiuda belongs to the LDP's largest faction that was previously led by late Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Hagiuda, known as a close aide to Abe, has gained the trust of Kishida. The media reports have said that Hagiuda's appointment is intended to emphasize the importance of that faction and to strengthen defense policy.
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