Japanese PM keeps core members in cabinet reshuffle

by Reuters
Wednesday, 3 September 2014 05:03 GMT

TOKYO, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe brought in a rival and appointed women to nearly a third of the posts in a revamped cabinet unveiled on Wednesday, but kept key ministers in a reshuffle aimed at unifying his party and polishing his image.

Core members such as Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, 65, Finance Minister Taro Aso, 73, Economics Minister Akira Amari, 65, and Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, 57, retained their posts, signalling policy continuity.

Suga announced the cabinet line-up at a news conference.

The new cabinet faces a number of tough challenges. Abe must decide whether to go ahead with a planned rise in the sales tax to 10 percent from October 2015 after an initial hike sparked a big contraction, and his party also faces several local polls.

Abe is also hoping for a China-Japan summit to repair ties frayed by rows over territory and Japan's wartime history. (Reporting by Elaine Lies and Linda Sieg; Editing by Paul Tait)

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