Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday he will reshuffle his cabinet and executives in his ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Sept. 11.
The first revamp since October 2018 was initially expected for Sept 10, but Abe apparently took into account his busy diplomatic schedule when deciding on the date.
The Japanese leader has a visit to Russia planned later this week for an economic forum and summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The prime minister announced his decision at a meeting of LDP executives, according to a participant.
Abe has said he will build a team that can both ensure political stability and take on new challenges.
Despite there being a major lineup change expected, heavyweights who have supported Abe since his return to power in 2012, in particular Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso, are expected to keep their portfolios.
Some within the administration expect Abe to reward economic revitalization minister Toshimitsu Motegi for his work as the country's top negotiator in bilateral trade talks with the United States, possibly by installing him in a key post such as foreign minister.
A new personnel lineup for the vice ministers are expected on Sept 12, the sources said.
Within the LDP, the focus is on the fate of 80-year-old Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai who has held his position for over three years.
LDP policy chief Fumio Kishida, who once served as foreign minister and is seen as a possible successor to Abe, may be handed a new responsibility. Kishida is interested in becoming the secretary general and spoke to Abe about it on Friday, people close to him said.
Shinjiro Koizumi, a rising political star and son of former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, is rumored to be in the running for a cabinet post in the reshuffle.
Some are even predicting the popular young politician could take over the leadership from Abe in the future.
Abe previously reshuffled his cabinet and LDP executives in October 2018.© KYODO