Japan announces new Cabinet lineup

Updated: 2007-08-27 21:10

TOKYO -- Japan's new Chief Cabinet Secretary Kaoru Yosano Monday announced the new lineup of Cabinet. Most of the ministerial posts were replaced including key Cabinet members such as foreign and defense ministers.

The new government top spokesman said in a televised press conference that Nobutaka Machimura has been appointed as foreign minister while Masahiko Komura will take the post of defense chief.

Senior lawmaker Komura is expected to meet tough problems as the country's third defense minister to replace Yuriko Koike. Japan's defense ministry was upgraded from an agency some eight months ago.

The former defense agency chief Fukushiro Nukaga will be the Cabinet's finance minister while Yoichi Masuzoe will take the post as health and welfare minister.

Tetsuzo Fuyushiba, the only member from the ruling coalition New Komeito Party, remains as land, infrastructure and transport minister. Current economy, trade and industry minister Akira Amari, education minister Bunmei Ibuki as well as State Minister in Charge of Economic and Fiscal Policy Hiroko Ota will also stay in the Cabinet at their posts.

Abe convened a meeting of outgoing ministers in the afternoon, where they submitted their resignations.

On Monday morning, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appointed Foreign Minister Taro Aso as secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. He also named Toshihiro Nikai, as chairman of the General Council and Nobuteru Ishihara, as chairman of the Policy Research Council.

The party leadership revamping and a Cabinet reshuffle are both seen as the premier's efforts to regain public trust following his ruling party's failure to retain majority in the House of Councilors in July's election.

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