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Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 15:48 08/27/2007
News Review #409: August 27, 2007

Abe Reshuffles Cabinet in Bid to Regain Support

Reviewed by Takahiro MIYAO

Abe Reshuffles Cabinet in Bid to Regain Support
International Herald Tribune (8/27/2007)


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reshuffles his cabinet by choosing "experienced conservatives," such as Nobutaka Machimura as foreign minister, Masahiko Komura as defense minister, and Fukushiro Nukaga as finance minister, as reported in the International Herald Tribune article (see the link above). In a sense, this is a natural move on the part of Mr. Abe, who is regarded as "inexperienced" as prime minister as a result of his historic defeat in the Upper-House election.

However, the biggest question is what Mr. Abe is planning to accomplish with this cabinet, other than to regain popular support for him and his party. Former foreign minister Taro Aso said in his first press conference as the party’s secretary general that it was time to rebuild the party after it was destroyed by former prime minister Koizumi. Does this mean that the so-called Koizumi-Abe reform will be stopped or even reversed? A list of new cabinet members, including a number of old factional leaders as well as some young reformers, does not seem to give a clear answer to this question.

In any event, Prime Minister Abe will soon face a big challenge in dealing with Democratic Party’s opposition to the extension of the anti-terrorism bill in the coming Upper-House session. Whether this cabinet can survive the challenge and, even before that, the public scrutiny of the "politics and money" aspects of cabinet members by the mass media remains to be seen. There may be some doubt if the newly appointed cabinet members are really best in terms of these potential problems.

This review is adopted from the following blog (with its Japanese translation):

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