Asia PacificPolitics

Japan Replaces Foreign, Defense Ministers in Major Reshuffle

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida replaced his defense and foreign ministers on Wednesday while also increasing the number of women in the cabinet to a joint record in a major reshuffle.

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi was replaced by former justice minister Yoko Kamikawa, 70, one of five women in the new cabinet, government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters.

Kamikawa was justice minister when Japan executed five years ago the leader and members of Aum Shinrikyo, sentenced to death for their role in the fatal 1995 sarin attack on the Tokyo subway.

Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada was succeeded by Minoru Kihara, 54, who previously served as parliamentary secretary of defense.

Five women, up from two in the previous cabinet, is the joint highest record in Japanese politics.

Shunichi Suzuki retains his position as finance minister in the world’s third-largest economy.

Kishida, 66, took office in October 2021 but his poll ratings and standing within the ruling party have slumped.

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