Abe Likely To Reshuffle Cabinet In Mid - September

Abe likely to reshuffle Cabinet in mid-September

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to reshuffle his Cabinet and ruling party executives in mid-September.

Abe spoke to reporters on Monday, the day after the Upper House election. He revealed plans to convene an extraordinary Diet session on August 1 to select the chamber's president.

The focus of the expected reshuffle is whether Abe will retain Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, and the Secretary General of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Toshihiro Nikai.

Abe appears to remain committed to pursuing his longtime goal of amending the Constitution.

He said the election results show voters have decided that the matter should at least be debated. He called on the opposition forces to proceed with the discussion.

Abe suggested that an amendment plan will be prepared that could win enough support from lawmakers to initiate a process to amend the Constitution.

Akira Nagatsuma, deputy president of the opposition Constitutional Democratic Party, criticized Abe, saying his message was confrontational.

The president of the Democratic Party for the People, Yuichiro Tamaki, said it is difficult to endorse the ruling LDP party plan to revise the constitution as it is now.

But Tamaki expressed a willingness to engage in positive discussions for the sake of the public interest.