Japan Prime Minister Kishida Begins Arranging Cabinet, Liberal Democratic Party Leadership Reshuffle

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida disembarks from a government plane with his wife Yuko on Monday morning at Haneda Airport.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida began making arrangements on Monday for his planned cabinet reshuffle, after returning from India.

At a press conference in New Delhi on Sunday, Kishida, who is also president of the Liberal Democratic Party, expressed his intention to reshuffle the Cabinet and the LDP’s leadership team. “After returning to Japan, I’ll make arrangements with the people concerned. I’m considering making personnel changes for party executives and cabinet members as early as Wednesday,” Kishida said.

Regarding specific personnel, the prime minister said, “We want to make serious adjustments on Monday and Tuesday.”

After returning by government plane to Haneda Airport on Monday morning, the prime minister began discussions with relevant persons, including Toshimitsu Motegi, whom Kishida intends to keep on as LDP secretary general, and Natsuo Yamaguchi, the head of ruling coalition partner Komeito.

Kishida is considering retaining Koichi Hagiuda, chairperson of the LDP Policy Research Council, and Hiroshi Moriyama, chairperson of the LDP’s Election Strategy Committee, or appointing them to another senior party position or a key cabinet position.

LDP Vice President Taro Aso is expected to remain in that post.

The prime minister is considering retaining Economy, Trade, and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura and economic security minister Sanae Takaichi in the same cabinet positions. Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno is expected to retain a key position; the focus is on which post he will be given.

At the New Delhi press conference on Sunday, Kishida said a top priority for him will be implementing a major stimulus package, which he wants to compile by as early as the end of this month.

“We want to secure the necessary budget and implement drastic economic measures,” the prime minister said. “We seek to protect people’s lives from high prices and create a stronger trend of higher wages and increased investment,” he added.

The government is planning to submit a draft supplementary budget for fiscal 2023 to the extraordinary Diet session in the autumn, which will provide the financial backing for the economic measures.

When asked by reporters about the need to soon convene an extraordinary Diet session and whether he intended to dissolve the House of Representatives and hold a general election this year, Kishida said, “I want to consider the political schedule, including when to convene an extraordinary Diet session, with priority given to promptly implementing stimulus measures.”