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Japan PM Kishida to reshuffle Cabinet amid Taiwan, inflation concerns

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Tokyo | August 6, 2022 12:26:55 PM IST
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, announced on Saturday that he will likely reshuffle his Cabinet the next week to address a variety of issues including heightened tensions in the Taiwan Strait, increasing inflation and the war in Ukraine.

"I've been always thinking about making a new start with new members, given the challenges," Kyodo news quoted Kishida as saying at a press conference in Hiroshima following a ceremony to mark the 77th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of the western Japan city.

The proposed changes to both his cabinet and the leadership team of his Liberal Democratic Party team will be made on Wednesday, top administration officials said on Friday reported Kyodo News.

It will be the first reform since the ruling alliance, which is led by the LDP, won resoundingly on July 10 in the election for the House of Councillors.

Following the reshuffle, work will start on drafting the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year, reported Kyodo News.

Among other priorities for the government is to bolster the country's security and decide by how much defence spending should be increased.

In April, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party recommended that the government consider raising the defence spending to 2 per cent or more of the GDP within five years. The number will serve as a goal during the budget talks. Previously, the defense spending has been held to roughly 1% of the GDP.

The reshuffle follows a July election in which Kishida's conservative coalition administration strengthened its majority in the upper house of parliament, two days after Abe's death.

The LDP won 63 out of the 125 seats being vied for, while its junior coalition partner Komeito gained 13 seats. In all, the LDP and Komeito secured a total of 76 seats, retaining a majority in the 248-member upper chamber of parliament.

The Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida following the victory had said that he would like to push forward efforts to revise Japan's pacifist constitution.

Kishida had vowed to build on the legacy of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan's longest-serving leader whose controversial and legacy-led goal was to revise the Constitution and ultimately remilitarize Japan.

Abe, who served as prime minister from 2006 to 2007 and again from 2012 to 2020, was shot dead on Friday by an ex-Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) worker while he was delivering a speech in the western prefecture of Nara. (ANI)

 
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