Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg)

Japan's Abe Keeps Core Economic Team, Adds New Faces to Cabinet

(Bloomberg) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe kept his economic team including Finance Minister Taro Aso and added several first-time cabinet members in a reshuffle following his election last month to a third-straight term as ruling party leader.

Abe, who’s in position to become Japan’s longest-serving premier, has said he would prioritize a divisive effort to change the pacifist Article 9 of the seven-decade-old constitution, as well as shaking up the social security system to deal with the rapidly aging population. The next parliamentary session may start at the end of the month, according to local media reports.

In advance of an upper house election next year, Abe appointed close associate Akira Amari to an electoral strategy post in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, a political rehabilitation after he resigned over a financial scandal in 2016. LDP Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai and policy chief Fumio Kishida remain in their posts.

Here is the new Cabinet lineup:

Deputy Prime Minister/Finance Minister Taro Aso78Retained
Chief Cabinet SecretaryYoshihide Suga69Retained
Foreign MinisterTaro Kono55Retained
Trade MinisterHiroshige Seko55Retained
Economy MinisterToshimitsu Motegi62Retained
Transport Minister Keiichi Ishii60Retained
Defense MinisterTakeshi Iwaya61New
Internal Affairs MinisterMasatoshi Ishida66New
Health MinisterTakumi Nemoto67New
Agriculture MinisterTakamori Yoshikawa67New
Education MinisterMasahiko Shibayama52New
Justice Minister
Takashi Yamashita
Environment Minister
Yoshiaki Harada74New
Reconstruction Minister
Hiromichi Watanabe
Information Technology and Science Minister
Takuya Hirai
Regional Revitalization MinisterSatsuki Katayama59New
Olympics and Paralympics Minister Yoshitaka Sakurada
Chairperson of National Public Safety CommissionJunzo Yamamoto63New
Minister for Okinawa and Northern TerritoriesMitsuhiro Miyakoshi67New

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