20:42 GMT26 February 2020
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    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a major reshuffle in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on Wednesday, local media reported. Later in the day, the entire Japanese cabinet resigned ahead of the upcoming government reshuffle.

    Abe appointed Olympics minister Shunichi Suzuki as chairman of the party’s General Council. Toshihiro Nikai, Secretary-General of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), remains in his post, as well as former foreign minister Fumio Kishida, who is chairman of the LDP Policy Research Council.

    Japan’s former education minister Hakubun Shimomura will now be head of LDP’s Election Strategy Committee.

    Abe - who returned to power in December 2012 pledging to reboot the nation's economy and bolster defence - will become the longest-serving chief of the Japanese government in November.

    Local media reported earlier that a broad cabinet reshuffle - expected later in the day - would keep Abe's allies in key posts. In particular, Finance Minister Taro Aso, 78, and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, 70, will reportedly retain their posts.

    Notably, Shinjiro Koizumi, 38, son of ex-premier Junichiro Koizumi, is expected to be one of 13 new ministers among 19 to be appointed and is reportedly expected to be the third-youngest to win a portfolio in Japan.

    Most ministerial posts will be shifted, with Toshimitsu Motegi becoming Japan’s new foreign minister, the NHK broadcaster reported on Wednesday.

    According to Reuters, citing local media, Abe is expected to appoint former Olympic speed skater Seiko Hashimoto as Olympics minister to prepare for the 2020 Games in Tokyo, one of two women likely to win new posts.


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