Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is expected to reshuffle his cabinet on Monday, with changes aimed at cooling a raging maritime dispute with China, according to reports.
Commentators say that as well as helping soothe the diplomatic wrangle, Noda's reshuffle is a bid to boost his waning popularity and reinvigorate his government after a costly battle to pass tax legislation.
Noda may tap Beijing-friendly Makiko Tanaka, 68, as a new addition to the cabinet, the Asahi Shimbun daily reported on Sunday.
Tanaka, daughter of former prime minister Kakuei Tanaka who normalised diplomatic ties with Beijing 40 years ago, has warm links with China which has been jousting with Japan over disputed East China Sea islands.
Noda is considering appointing Tanaka to a ministerial post to signal to Beijing Tokyo's intention of repairing the damaged relationship, the Asahi said.
The prime minister will likely retain Koichiro Gemba as foreign minister, to provide continuity as Japan tangles with China and South Korea over separate territorial rows, the Asahi and Jiji Press said.
This Monday, members of the seminal metal band X Japan were in Odaiba rubbing shoulders with the likes of Brad Pitt, Lady Gaga and AKB48′s Yuko Oshima. The catch? They were all made out of wax. (Japan Times )
The parents of a nightclub worker killed in an arson fire three years ago filed a suit in the Nagoya District Court on Monday seeking damages against top members of the Yamaguchi-gumi organized crime group. (Tokyo Reporter )
Kyodo News said Monday that it has dismissed Satoshi Kondo, 51, deputy chief of its general administration bureau and former personnel affairs division chief, for meeting individually with a female student searching for a job and doing an inappropriate act.
(Jiji Press )