Timing of Cabinet reshuffle triggers uproar in LDP

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida enters the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s decision to reshuffle the Cabinet just before the Bon holiday period has ruffled feathers in the government and Liberal Democratic Party, as the sudden announcement affected the schedule of Diet members’ visits to their constituencies, and the summer vacation plans of officials at government ministries and agencies.

Most party members thought the reshuffle would take place in early September. The party, ministries and agencies had been expecting to have a summer break after the extraordinary Diet session closed on Friday.

When the news broke on Friday evening that the Cabinet would be reshuffled as early as Wednesday, it created an uproar.

“I don’t understand it at all. This time of year should be spent quietly, mourning people who died during the war,” a mid-level Diet member said.

Officials of government ministries and agencies have also voiced their annoyance. “I had to cancel my trip at short notice,” one said.

A Cabinet minister in the faction of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe claims Abe had asked Kishida to consider allowing Cabinet members to return to their constituencies during the Bon holiday period.

The minister also claimed Kishida had informed Abe of his intention to conduct a reshuffle in September. However, the prime minister’s staff denied the claim.

At a press conference on Saturday, Kishida said, “I always intended to start my new administration as soon as possible.”