Abe Appoints New Olympics Minister

Abe appoints new Olympics minister

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he plans to reappoint Shunichi Suzuki as minister in charge of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Suzuki will replace Yoshitaka Sakurada, who resigned on Wednesday over a comment that seemingly belittled reconstruction efforts in northeastern Japan.

Abe told reporters Thursday morning he will appoint Suzuki to the post he held before Sakurada. Abe described Suzuki as a veteran who also served as Environment Minister.

Abe said Suzuki is from Iwate Prefecture, which was devastated by the massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and has strong hopes the Games will help boost the region's reconstruction.

Abe added that he expects Suzuki will make efforts to regain trust and make the Olympics and Paralympics a success.

Abe said all members of his Cabinet should think of themselves as ministers in charge of reconstruction, and should do their best to revive the northeastern part of the country.

Abe said he takes criticism over a series of resignations in his Cabinet seriously. He pledged efforts to regain public trust and to fulfill his public mandate.