World / Asia-Pacific

Japan unveils new cabinet lineup

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-12-24 16:56

TOKYO - Japan's top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga announced Wednesday the new cabinet lineup of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was re-elected as the country's leader shortly before the announcement.

Gen Nakatani, 57-year-old former chief of defense agency, was appointed as new defense chief, replacing Akinori Eto, who declined the reappointment due to a political fund scandal.

Other ministers including deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga, retained their posts.

Nakatani was the first Self-Defense Forces officer to serve as director general of the Defense Agency, the predecessor of the Defense Ministry, under Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in 2001.

Local media reported that the new defense chief is well-versed in defense and security policy, and an advocate of expanding Japan 's security role abroad.

The appointment much meets Abe's defense posture since he returned to power late December in 2012, local analysts said.

Several ministers in the last Abe's cabinet launched in September after a reshuffle, including Eto, were trapped by political fund scandals which forced two women ministers' resignation.

Local reports said the new lineup aims at pushing forward the economic policy and fulfilling the compile of government budget for next year as quickly as possible, as well as accelerating the legislation related to the right to collective self-defense.

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