Japan’s Kishida likely to change trade minister, keep finance in reshuffle -media

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida delivers a speech at his official residence in Tokyo, Japan July 14, 2022. Xinhua/Zhang Xiaoyu/Pool via REUTERS

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TOKYO, Aug 9 (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is likely to appoint Industry Minister Koichi Hagiuda to a post outside the cabinet, while retaining his current finance and foreign ministers as part of a reshuffle planned for this week, media reported.

Koichi Hagiuda, the minister of economy, trade and industry, is expected to be named chairman of the ruling party’s policy research committee, the Yomiuri newspaper said on Tuesday, without specifying where he got the job from. ‘information.

Hagiuda is a member of the largest faction of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, which was previously led by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was shot and killed last month. Hagiuda’s appointment is intended to show the importance of this faction and help strengthen defense policy, the Yomiuri said.

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The earlier-than-expected reshuffle comes as Kishida’s administration faces growing public scrutiny of the relationship between the Unification Church religious group and ruling party lawmakers, including Abe. Read more

One of Kishida’s advisers, Minoru Terada, and upper house lawmaker Naoki Okada are expected to be appointed to the cabinet for the first time, the Yomiuri said.

Kishida, who faces his lowest level of support since taking office in October, is also expected to retain Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki and Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Monday. He also did not say where he got the information.

Kishida also intends to keep Taro Aso, the vice chairman of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, and Hirokazu Matsuno, the chief cabinet secretary, he said, other outlets having previously said that these two would probably be retained.

Kishida said over the weekend he would reshuffle his cabinet to address issues such as rising COVID-19 infections.

The Jiji news agency reported on Friday that Suzuki, the finance minister, would be retained. The Yomiuri newspaper previously reported that Kishida was likely to replace Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, due to his health issues.

(This story corrects Taro Aso’s title as Vice President of the ruling LDP)

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Reporting by David Dolan; Editing by Sam Holmes and Stephen Coates

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