Kishida to retain Motegi, Aso in LDP executives reshuffle
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is planning to keep Toshimitsu Motegi as his ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s secretary general and Taro Aso as vice president in an expected reshuffle Wednesday of the cabinet and party executives, sources familiar with the matter said Monday.
Whether to retain Motegi, seen as a strong contender to succeed Kishida, has been a focal point in the personnel shuffle ahead of the LDP leadership election in September next year.
Kishida, who is reportedly considering re-election in the LDP leadership race, sees the retention of former Prime Minister Aso and Motegi, both veteran lawmakers heading the second- and third-largest factions, respectively, as essential for ensuring the stable management of his administration, the sources said.
Kishida met with Motegi and several other senior LDP lawmakers and discussed his reshuffle plan after returning from a Group of 20 summit in India earlier in the day.
After speaking with Natsuo Yamaguchi, leader of the junior coalition partner Komeito party, on Tuesday, Kishida will finalize the new cabinet lineup. He will formally appoint four key party executives on Wednesday.
With Kishida keen to have more females in key posts, Yuko Obuchi, who currently heads the LDP’s organization and campaign headquarters, may be picked as the chairperson of the election strategy committee.
Currently, there are only two female ministers in the 19-member cabinet — economic security minister Sanae Takaichi and education minister Keiko Nagaoka.
Hiroshi Moriyama, current head of the election strategy committee, may be appointed as the chief of general council, one of the four key executive posts, the sources said.
The prime minister is also expected to retain LDP policy chief Koichi Hagiuda and give key posts to Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno and industry minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, according to the sources.
The personnel overhaul comes amid sluggish approval ratings for Kishida’s cabinet, partly due to problems related to the My Number national identification system.