Abe announced plans to reshuffle

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has formally announced plans to reshuffle the cabinet and leadership of the governing party on Thursday.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will shake up his cabinet 3rd August, the government’s top spokesman said Tuesday, as public support plummets after a series of scandals. Abe too faced claims he used influence to help a friend in a business deal, an accusation he denies, while the country’s defense minister resigned last week following a controversy over military documents. Abe told ministers he was planning a reshuffle on Thursday to “push ahead with various reforms under a new line-up,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters. Suga said the new cabinet’s top priority would be reviving the economy, adding it would also work to ensure national security, in an apparent reference to North Korea’s increasing missile threat.

Abe spoke during an executive meeting of the Liberal Democratic Party on Tuesday.

He said he aims to reinvigorate the lineup which comes exactly one year after the current cabinet was appointed on August 3.

Senior party members agreed to give Abe the freedom to select a new executive lineup.

After the meeting, LDP Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai told reporters that he approves of Abe’s decision to carry out a reshuffle.

Nikai added that the party needs to conduct itself with caution, because people have various opinions over its management.

The planned reshuffle comes as Abe’s cabinet has been hit by a series of scandals. A recent NHK poll has shown a sharp drop in the cabinet’s approval rating.

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