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A First Reshuffle for Second Abe Cabinet (September 2014)
[2014.09.03] Read in: 日本語 | 简体字 | 繁體字 | ESPAÑOL | العربية | Русский |

On September 3, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō announced the results of his first cabinet reshuffle since assuming office for the second time in December 2012. Six senior ministers retained their positions, including Deputy Prime Minister Asō Tarō, Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide, and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida Fumio. Former Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Ishiba Shigeru took the newly created post of minister in charge of reviving local economies.

Position Name Party, district, times elected Prior positions
Prime minister Abe Shinzō
(unchanged)
LDP
Lower house, Yamaguchi 4
Elected 7 times
Prime minister (2006–7, 2012–)
Deputy prime minister
 
Minister of finance
Asō Tarō
(unchanged)
LDP
Lower house, Fukuoka 8
Elected 11 times
Prime minister (2008–9), deputy prime minister (2012–), minister of finance (2012–)
Minister for internal affairs and communications Takaichi Sanae LDP
Lower house, Nara 2
Elected 6 times
Minister of state for special missions (2006–7), chair of the Policy Research Council (2012–)
Minister of justice Matsushima Midori LDP
Lower house, Tokyo 14
Elected 4 times
Senior vice-minister of economy, trade, and industry (2013–14)
Minister for foreign affairs Kishida Fumio
(unchanged)
LDP
Lower house, Hiroshima 1
Elected 7 times
Minister of state for Okinawa and Northern Territories affairs (2007–8), minister for foreign affairs (2012–)
Minister of education, culture, sports, science, and technology Shimomura Hakubun
(unchanged)
LDP
Lower house, Tokyo 11
Elected 6 times
Deputy chief cabinet secretary (2006–7), minister of education (2012–)
Minister of health, labor, and welfare Shiozaki Yasuhisa LDP
Lower house, Ehime 1
Elected 6 times to lower house, 1 time to upper house
Chief cabinet secretary (2006–7), senior vice-minister for foreign affairs (2005–6)
Minister of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries Nishikawa Kōya LDP
Lower house, Tochigi 2
Elected 5 times
Senior vice minister of Cabinet Office (2004–5)
Minister of economy, trade, and industry Obuchi Yūko LDP
Lower house, Gunma 5
Elected 5 times
Minister of state for social affairs and gender equality (2008–9)
Minister of the environment
 
Minister of state for nuclear emergency preparedness
Mochizuki Yoshio LDP
Lower house, Shizuoka 4
Elected 6 times
Senior vice-minister of land, infrastructure, transport, and tourism (2006–7)
Minister of land, infrastructure, transport, and tourism Ōta Akihiro
(unchanged)
New Kōmeitō
Lower house, Tokyo 12
Elected 6 times
Kōmeitō chief representative (2006–9), minister of land, infrastructure, transport, and tourism (2012–)
Minister of defense Eto Akinori LDP
Lower house, Aomori 2
Elected 5 times
Senior vice-minister of defense (2007–8, 2012–13)
Chief cabinet secretary
 
Minister in charge of strengthening national security

Minister in charge of reducing base burden on Okinawa

Suga Yoshihide
(unchanged)
LDP
Lower house, Kanagawa 2
Elected 6 times
Minister for internal affairs and communications (2006–7), chief cabinet secretary (2012–)
Minister for reconstruction Takeshita Wataru LDP
Lower house, Shimane 2
Elected 5 times
Senior vice-minister of finance (2008–9)
Minister in charge of reviving local economies Ishiba Shigeru LDP
Lower house, Tottori 1
Elected 9 times
Minister of defense (2007–8), minister of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries (2008–9), chair of the Policy Research Council (2009–11), LDP secretary general (2012–14)
Chair of the National Public Safety Commission
 
Minister in charge of the abduction issue and disaster management
Yamatani Eriko LDP
Upper house, proportional representation
Elected 1 time to lower house, 2 times to upper house
Special advisor to the prime minister (2006–7)
Minister of state for Okinawa and Northern Territories affairs
 
Minister of state for science and technology policy
Yamaguchi Shun’ichi LDP
Lower house, Tokushima 2
Elected 8 times
Senior vice-minister of finance (2012–13), senior vice-minister for internal affairs and communications (2003–4)
Minister in charge of economic revitalization Amari Akira
(unchanged)
LDP
Lower house, Kanagawa 13
Elected 10 times
Minister of economy, trade, and industry (2006–8), minister in charge of economic revitalization (2012–)
Minister of state for women’s empowerment, administrative reform, and public servant system reform Arimura Haruko LDP
Upper house, proportional representation
Elected 3 times
Parliamentary secretary of education, culture, sports, science, and technology (2005–6)
 
Deputy chief cabinet secretary Katō Katsunobu
(unchanged)
LDP
Lower house, Okayama 5
Elected 4 times
Parliamentary secretary of the Cabinet Office (2007–8), deputy chief cabinet secretary (2012–)
Deputy chief cabinet secretary Sekō Hiroshige
(unchanged)
LDP
Upper house, Wakayama
Elected 4 times
Special advisor to the prime minister (2006–7), deputy chief cabinet secretary (2012–)
Deputy chief cabinet secretary Sugita Kazuhiro
(unchanged)
  National Police Agency Security Bureau chief (1994–97), deputy chief cabinet secretary for crisis management (2001–4), deputy chief cabinet secretary (2012–)
Director-general of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau Yokobatake Yūsuke
(unchanged)
  Deputy director-general of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau (2011–14), director-general of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau (2014–)

The 18 cabinet members had previously been unchanged since Prime Minister Abe formed his government in December 2012, a period of over 600 days. The figure represents a record in Japanese politics, where such stability is unusual. The previous record was held by the cabinet of Satō Eisaku (prime minister from 1964 to 1972), whose membership remained unchanged for a period of 425 days following a 1965 reshuffle.

As well as a rearrangement of personnel to strengthen Abe’s position within his own party, the reshuffle is seen as an attempt to revive waning public support by freshening up the image of his administration.

While the Abe cabinet previously included only two women, the post-reshuffle total of five female cabinet ministers also constitutes a Japanese record.

There were also major changes in the “three key posts” of the main ruling party’s executive arm. Former LDP President Tanigaki Sadakazu was brought in as secretary-general, while Nikai Toshihiro became chairman of the LDP General Council and Inada Tomomi was made chairwoman of the LDP Policy Research Council.

(Banner photo: Abe Shinzō poses with the members of his new cabinet on September 3, 2014, at the Kantei. © Jiji)

  • [2014.09.03]
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