Japan PM Kishida reforms cabinet, ruling party leadership

TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on August 19 reshuffled his cabinet and the executive line-up of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) as the government encounters slipping public support.

As per the lineup, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki and Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno remained in their posts, as Kishida targets  to make sure continuity in the face of pressing economic and diplomatic issues, Japan media report cited.

Toshimitsu Motegi, the LDP's secretary general, and Taro Aso, its vice president, both kept their positions. Nobuo Kishi was replaced and Yasukazu Hamada was given the portfolio once more. Sanae Takaichi, the LDP's policy director, is also a minister of economic security in the new government.

Taro Kono, the party's director of PR, was appointed minister of digitization. 

Koichi Hagiuda, the industry minister, was elevated by Kishida to the crucial position of LDP policy chief, and Yasutoshi Nishimura, the former minister of economic revitalization who was in charge of the government's Covid-19 reaction, was given the position of industry minister.

The news on Wednesday comes more than a week after a national Kyodo News poll showed that the Kishida administration's approval rating was at its lowest level since it took office in October 2021.

According to the survey released on August 1, the cabinet's approval rating dropped to a record-low 51.0% from a peak of 63.2% only a few weeks prior. A parliamentary debate on the state burial for former prime minister Shinzo Abe is required, according to 61.9% of those polled, while 53.3% of respondents said they are against it.

The Kishida administration experienced its biggest surge in support after the ruling coalition parties won the House of Councilors election on July 10 and after Abe passed away after being shot to death during a campaign rally on July 8.

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