Japan’s Cabinet reshuffle

Reforms at risk as Kishida plays it safe

New Cabinet line-up prioritises party unity and reflects a business as usual approach at a time when Japan faces big problems on many fronts.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (front) with his new Cabinet in Tokyo on Aug 10, 2022. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
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Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's Cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday prioritised stability and was aimed at achieving unity within his fractious Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). The regrettable result is a politics-as-usual government that satisfies ruling party interests yet is ill-equipped to confront Japan's expanding list of problems.

Speaking a day earlier, Mr Kishida acknowledged that Japan is "facing some of the greatest challenges of the post-war period, both domestically and internationally". On his mind was Beijing's aggressive response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, which included China's firing of five ballistic missiles into Japan's exclusive economic zone.

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