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Cabinet approves 52 aides to ministers after reshuffle

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet approved Thursday a new lineup of 25 senior vice ministers and 27 parliamentary vice ministers following a cabinet reshuffle earlier in the week.
The personnel overhauls were implemented after Abe successfully secured his third consecutive term as president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in the Sept 20 election. As Abe named only one female minister in the new cabinet, he instead increased women aides to five from two in the previous lineup.
Senior Vice Justice Minister Hiroshi Hiraguchi, an LDP fourth-term House of Representatives member, will be tasked with supporting new Justice Minister Takashi Yamashita, as Japan seeks to boost the number of foreign workers from April amid a serious labor crunch. The ministry is in charge of immigration policy.
Masahisa Sato was reappointed as senior vice foreign minister. He is a former commander of the first team of Ground Self-Defense Force troops dispatched to Iraq from 2004 for reconstruction and humanitarian operations.
From the Komeito party, the LDP's junior coalition partner, Abe picked three senior vice ministers, including senior vice welfare minister Yoshinori Oguchi.
Among parliamentary vice ministers, lower house member Takako Suzuki was picked for the post at the Defense Ministry. She is the eldest daughter of former lawmaker Muneo Suzuki, who is known for his strong ties with Russia.
In Japan, government ministries and agencies each have one to three senior vice ministers and parliamentary vice ministers.


© KYODO
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