Japanese PM retains key ministers, shifts focus to economy

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe retained key Cabinet members and created a new ministerial post aiming for the betterment of society in a reshuffle Wednesday as part of efforts to maintain stability in economic management and diplomacy as he leads his ruling coalition into a House of Councillors election next summer.

Abe appointed Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato to the post in a bid to achieve his new goals such as boosting Japan’s nominal gross domestic product from 490 trillion yen to 600 trillion yen (US$ 5 trillion) by around 2020 and the fertility rate from 1.4 to 1.8 by around 2025.

Abe kept nine Cabinet members, including Finance Minister Taro Aso, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Defense Minister Gen Nakatani and Akira Amari, minister of economic and fiscal policy, while appointing Kato and nine other new members. PNA/Kyodo