Abe Reshuffles Cabinet, Top Ldp Posts

Abe reshuffles Cabinet, top LDP posts

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has shaken up his Cabinet, bringing in 13 first-timers, while keeping some of his top ministers in key posts.

This is the first shakeup since July's Upper House election. The vote saw the ruling coalition lose seats, but maintain a healthy majority.

Toshimitsu Motegi is Japan's new Foreign Minister.

He's already made a name for himself in international circles as the top negotiator for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and a Japan-US trade deal.

He has taken over from Taro Kono. In turn, Kono is the new Defense Minister.

Abe is keeping in place two Cabinet heavyweights. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso, and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, have retained the portfolios they've held since Abe returned to power in 2012.

The Emperor formally authorized the new ministers' appointments at a ceremony.

They include Shinjiro Koizumi, who has taken over as Environment Minister.

He's a rising star in the LDP and a son of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. At age 38, he is the third youngest minister in post-war history.

The lineup also has two women -- including a veteran Cabinet member. Sanae Takaichi has returned to her past role as Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications.

Seiko Hashimoto is a former speed skater and Olympic medalist. She's the minister in charge of next year's Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Abe also reshuffled executives of his Liberal Democratic Party. He kept two top party influencers in key policy roles.

Toshihiro Nikai is staying on as Secretary-General, while Fumio Kishida is remaining as Policy Research Council chief. Kishida is seen as a prospective successor to Abe as LDP president.

Shunichi Suzuki is the new chairperson of the LDP's decision-making General Council. He has vacated his post as Olympics Minister.