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Japan Cabinet reshuffle prioritizes economy

By Xinhua in Tokyo | China Daily | Updated: 2014-09-04 07:09

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday carried out his first Cabinet reshuffle since December 2012 and prioritized the subject of revitalizing Japan's economy.

The new lineup included 12 new faces and five female ministers.

The prime minister said at a news conference after the reshuffle that the new Cabinet will make economy revitalization its top priority.

Abe returned to power in late 2012 and introduced a series of economic policies dubbed "Abenomics" in a move to boost Japan's sluggish economy.

Japan Cabinet reshuffle prioritizes economy

Analysts said that as Finance Minister Taro Aso and State Minister for Economic and Fiscal Policy Akira Amari remained in their posts, the government would stick with the current financial policies featuring monetary easing.

The appointment of five female ministers reflects Abe's wish to attract more women into Japan's labor force.

Japan is suffering from low birthrates and an aging society. If working women were mobilized in the country, according to economists, some 8 million workers could be added to the labor force, and they could help boost Japan's gross domestic product by 15 percent.

Although Abe said that "all five women are well qualified for those important Cabinet posts. ... It's not about the number. I meant to have the right people in the right positions in the Cabinet," appointing a record number of female ministers itself has a more symbolic meaning, according to analysts.

(China Daily 09/04/2014 page11)

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