Japan PM Abe to pick rising star Koizumi, allies in Cabinet reshuffle
Kyodo -- Sep 11
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will give Shinjiro Koizumi, a rising political star touted as a future Japanese leader, his first ministerial post in a Cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday, sources familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

Koizumi, a son of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, will be named as environment minister, the source said. The 38-year-old has been increasingly in the news since making a surprise announcement last month at the prime minister's office of his marriage to TV personality Christel Takigawa.

The high-profile addition to the Cabinet lineup is apparently aimed at lifting approval rates following the first major overhaul in about a year that would otherwise see familiar faces and Abe's allies with similar political views filling key posts.

With most of the current members set to be reshuffled, the makeup of Abe's new Cabinet includes Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasutoshi Nishimura as economic revitalization minister, according to the sources. Nishimura will be put in charge of social security reform, one of Abe's major policy agendas.

Isshu Sugawara, a ruling party lawmaker who once served as a senior vice finance minister, is tipped to become the next trade minister amid a bilateral dispute with South Korea over Japan's tighter export controls.

11日に行われる内閣改造で、自民党の小泉進次郎厚生労働部会長が環境大臣として初入閣することが決まった。そのほか河井総裁特別補佐も初入閣。法務大臣に内定した。そして、安倍総理と思想信条が近い衛藤総理補佐官が一億総活躍担当大臣に、菅原元財務副大臣が経済産業大臣に決まった。萩生田幹事長代行は文部科学担当大臣に就くことが決定した。また、当選回数を重ね、入閣待望組の田中和徳氏、武田良太氏、竹本直一氏、北村誠吾氏の入閣も決まった。そして、高市元総務大臣と加藤元厚労大臣が再登板となる。内閣の骨格を残しつつ、そのほかのポストは大幅に入れ替わり、初入閣13人は安倍政権で過去最多となる。側近の重用が目立つ一方、石破派からの起用はゼロだった。
News sources: Kyodo, ANNnewsCH
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