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With New General Election Mandate, Japan’s Abe to Retain Cabinet

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The reshuffled Japanese cabinet from August 2017 will remain in place following the LDP’s general election showing.

Ankit Panda reports: Fresh out of a snap election with a strong and renewed mandate, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will retain his cabinet and leave the leadership of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) unchanged.

According to LDP General Council Chairman Wataru Takeshita on Friday, Abe had told the party earlier last week that “it is natural for everyone to be retained.”

In early August, amid dwindling approval ratings, Abe had moved to reshuffle his cabinet, critically introducing new ministers to the important defense and foreign portfolios.

Avoiding a cabinet reshuffle at this point allows the Japanese government to retain continuity. The reasons for August reshuffle — scandal, drooping approval ratings, and resignations — are no longer looming large for the prime minister.

Moreover, with Abe set to be re-elected as prime minister on Wednesday when the Diet convenes for an eight-day session, intra-party challenges to his leadership within the LDP will be muted for some time.

The Japanese cabinet, thus, will retain, for example, Itsunori Onodera as minister of defense at a time of intensified regional security challenges, especially from North Korea … (read more)

via The Diplomat

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