Saturday, January 8, 2011

Japan Cabinet Reshuffle: First Look

It is now almost certain that come January 17th, the naikaku (Cabinet) serving with souridaijin Kan Naoto ('Prime Minister' N. Kan) will have a vastly different make-up. It remains to be seen if kanbou choukan Sengoku Yoshito (Chief Cabinet Secretary Y. Sengoku; #2 officer as well as the media face of the Cabinet) will be replaced, but several others may be. Here's one almost certain to change:
Ahead of a reshuffle of his Cabinet, Prime Minister Naoto Kan is considering replacing Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Akihiro Ohata, who maintains a cautious stance toward Japan's participation in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, it's been learned.
The article linked cites two others likely to be shuffled out.

The only sure keepers at this point, say the wags, are soumu daijin Katayama Yoshihiro (Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Y. Katayama) and gaimu daijin Maehara Seiji (Foreign Minister S. Maehara). Bouei daijin Kitazawa Toshimi (Defense Minister T. Kitazawa) may be in line for a new job in the Cabinet, but replacing him will require once again calling on the rather shallow bullpen that the DPJ has in Defense and Foreign matters.

A tough challenge for N. Kan to pull this together again, having just gone through a Cabinet shuffle in September, but that last change was for the better. Maybe another iteration will be better yet...

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