NHK has learned that Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to retain Toshihiro Nikai and Fumio Kishida in their current posts in a planned reshuffle of executives in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
Abe, who is also president of the LDP, is preparing to revamp his Cabinet and governing party executives next Wednesday, after returning from a trip to Russia.
NHK understands that Abe has also decided to retain Taro Aso as Deputy Prime Minister, who doubles as Finance Minister, and Yoshihide Suga as Chief Cabinet Secretary in the cabinet reshuffle.
Abe met with key party figures, including Nikai and Kishida, as part of efforts to coordinate opinions within the LDP.
Nikai has been the party's Secretary-General since 2016. Abe decided to retain the longest-serving secretary-general of the party despite calls for him to step down.
Kishida has served as head of the party's Policy Research Council since 2017. Before that, he spent over four years as Foreign Minister.
Abe's decision to maintain those key figures appears to be part of his efforts to lay the groundwork for his long-term goal of amending the Constitution.
Increasing uncertainties over the global economy, as well as a consumption tax hike planned for October, may also be behind his decision.