Motegi, Aso Expected to Retain Posts in Reshuffle

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will likely retain Toshimitsu Motegi as Liberal Democratic Party secretary general in a planned LDP reshuffle expected next week, according to several government and party officials.

Kishida, who is president of the ruling LDP, also plans to retain Taro Aso as vice president.

While Kishida aims to work on the stability of the party leadership, he also hopes to stimulate a sense of renewal with a drastic reshuffle of the Cabinet.

Motegi, 67, served as economy, trade and industry minister, foreign minister, and LDP Policy Research Council chairperson before being appointed as secretary general in November 2021. Elected to the House of Representatives 10 times, he leads the third-largest faction, with 54 members.

In the LDP, Motegi is considered to be one of the leading candidates to succeed Kishida in the future.

Motegi is said to have wanted to stay in the position, and Aso, 82, also advised Kishida to retain the LDP secretary general.

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
From left: Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Toshimitsu Motegi, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and Vice President Taro Aso are seen at the LDP headquarters on Aug. 29.

Kishida leads the fourth-largest LDP faction, with 45 members. The prime minister likely believes that the cooperation of Aso — who leads the second-largest faction, with 55 members — and Motegi is necessary for the stability of his administration.

A lawmaker from the LDP’s coalition partner Komeito has led the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry since December 2012, and the party is expected to retain the post in the reshuffle, with the incumbent Tetsuo Saito likely to keep his role.

Kishida plans to hold an extraordinary party executive meeting on Monday upon his return from the G20 summit in India.

The reshuffle of LDP executives is expected to be revealed Wednesday morning followed by an announcement of the new Cabinet lineup in the afternoon.

The prime minister is planning to drastically change the 19-member Cabinet lineup in an effort to boost his administration, according to sources close to Kishida. Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno,60, and LDP Policy Research Council Chairperson Koichi Hagiuda, 60, are expected to be tapped for key positions.