|Prime Minister Shinzo Abe|
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to replace his beleaguered defense and justice ministers in a Cabinet reshuffle in the first week of August, attempting to revive his fortunes after a stinging defeat in Tokyo metropolitan elections, government and party sources said Friday.
Abe is also tipped to overhaul key posts in the Liberal Democratic Party he leads at the same time, the sources said, adding that Aug. 3 is a strong possibility for the Cabinet reshuffle. Abe is expected to make a final decision after he returns from his European trip on Wednesday.
He is likely to retain the core members of his Cabinet and the LDP.
Defense Minister Tomomi Inada, a conservative ally of Abe, and Justice Minister Katsutoshi Kaneda both faced questions about their competency. Each joined the Cabinet in the previous reshuffle on Aug. 3 last year.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga spoke little on the issue at a press conference on Friday, only saying it is a "matter left to the prime minister."
He was initially expected to conduct a reshuffle in September when the tenures of LDP leadership posts expire, but the party's historic defeat in the Tokyo metropolitan assembly election last Sunday appears to have forced his hand.
Read the full story at The Mainichi