News analysis

Abe loyalists earn their reward with Cabinet seats

Critics slam Japan PM's picks, pointing to controversial past of some ministers

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (front row, centre) with his Cabinet ministers at his official residence in Tokyo on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (front row, centre) with his Cabinet ministers at his official residence in Tokyo on Tuesday.PHOTO: REUTERS

Walter Sim Last August, when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was facing cronyism allegations that damaged public trust in his government, he shook up his Cabinet by roping in as ministers several people who have publicly opposed him before.

Yet, 14 months on, with the wind once again in his sails after a landslide snap election win last October and re-election two weeks ago as president of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), experts said Mr Abe has returned to form by rewarding key loyal allies.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 04, 2018, with the headline 'Abe loyalists earn their reward with Cabinet seats'. Subscribe