FILE PHOTO - Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida Addresses the United Nations General Assembly During the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in New York
FILE PHOTO - Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida addresses the United Nations General Assembly during the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference in New York City, New York, U.S., August 1, 2022. REUTERS/David 'Dee' Delgado Photo: Reuters/DAVID DEE DELGADO
politics

Kishida to reshuffle cabinet with COVID, Taiwan, Unification Church in focus

27 Comments
By Kantaro Komiya

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Saturday he will reshuffle his cabinet next week to address mounting issues including Taiwan tensions, COVID-19 and economic stimulus measures to counter inflation.

"We need to set off a new formation as soon as possible considering the various issues," he told a news conference in Hiroshima after attending a commemoration for the 77th anniversary of the world's first atomic bombing in the city.

The earlier-than-expected staff change also comes as his administration faces increasing public scrutiny on the relationship between the religious group Unification Church and ruling party lawmakers, including slain former prime minister Shinzo Abe.

Natsuo Yamaguchi, leader of Kishida's ruling coalition partner Komeito party, said in a Saturday news conference that Kishida had informed him the cabinet reshuffle would be announced on Wednesday.

Kishida did not give any details of his cabinet changes but the Yomiuri daily reported earlier that he would likely replace Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, given his health issues.

Defense is in the spotlight with tension surging between self-ruled Taiwan and mainland China in recent days.

A recent surge of COVID to record-high infection numbers poses another problem for the government.

A reorganization of the cabinet and ruling party officials was slated for early September, after a memorial service for Abe who was shot dead last month, but Kishida brought it forward to address falling approval for the cabinet in polls, the Yomiuri said.

The reshuffle comes after Kishida's conservative coalition government increased its majority in the upper house of parliament in a July election held two days after Abe's death.

Kishi, 63, the younger brother of Abe, has been defense minister since September 2020.

Jiji news agency reported on Friday that Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki would be retained, and Industry Minister Koichi Hagiuda would either be kept or moved to another important post.

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, as well as ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Vice President Taro Aso, and Secretary-General Toshimitsu Motegi would also likely retain their positions, the Yomiuri also reported.

UNIFICATION CHURCH PROBE

Kishida was also asked at the news conference about the Unification Church, a religious group to which the mother of the man who shot Abe belonged, and which has been reported to have had particularly close links with Abe's faction of the LDP.

Kishida said he would order the cabinet to scrutinize any links between the church and cabinet members, including deputy ministers, and review them into "appropriate forms" to seek the public's understanding.

"As far as I know, I personally do not have any ties with the group," he said.

In a July 30-31 poll by Kyodo news agency, more than 80% of respondents said the relationship between the Unification Church and politicians must be revealed, and 53% expressed opposition to a state funeral for Abe.

The poll found support for Kishida's cabinet fell 12.2 points to 51.0%, its lowest in Kyodo polling since his inauguration in October.

Kishida said it was appropriate for the government to organize a state funeral given that Abe was modern Japan's longest-serving prime minister and given the circumstances of his death during "the very foundation of democracy", referring to the election campaign.

© Thomson Reuters 2022.

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

27 Comments
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"As far as I know, I personally do not have any ties with the group," he said.

Plausible deniability.

Ginza next Friday?

9 ( +18 / -9 )

Kishida said he would order the cabinet to scrutinize any links between the church and cabinet members, including deputy ministers, and review them into "appropriate forms" to seek the public's understanding.

An order from you to them is the same as an "urge", meaningless. No one is going to believe anything until someone is forced to fall on their sword and take responsibility.

Public understanding? What a joke!

10 ( +17 / -7 )

As far as I know? That’s a bit vague? So the PM is not sure about his possible or not connection. Nice to know he has no idea.

9 ( +16 / -7 )

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, as well as ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Vice President Taro Aso, and Secretary-General Toshimitsu Motegi would also likely retain their positions, the Yomiuri also reported.

Not even trying . And why do they have to with the Japanese electorate.

More shuffling of the usual suspect LDP kakistocrats in the lineup.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Reshuffle cabinet?

It will still be the same members, just in a different corner of the room.

How about firing and hiring completely new people?

They can’t be any worse, can they?

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Reshuffle cabinet? 

is that something like 'the shell game'?

or perhaps 'find the lady' would be more apt....

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Duck, duck, goose!

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Kishida said he would order the cabinet to scrutinize any links between the church and cabinet members, including deputy ministers, and review them into "appropriate forms" to seek the public's understanding.

Here Fumio.

https://www.theheadline.jp/articles/666

No need for any thanks, just kick them out...

...But again, if you're just looking for the public's "understanding", we all know what this means, do we?

"As far as I know, I personally do not have any ties with the group," he said.

As per the above link, the correct state of affairs is "unclear/unknown". As is for Matsuno, Moteki and Fukuda.

Kishida did not give any details of his cabinet changes but the Yomiuri daily reported earlier that he would likely replace Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, given his health issues.

No surprises here. If you want to look tough on the international stage, being in a wheelchair or walking on crutches with heavies walking besides you to pick you up (if needed) is not going to cut it. Add to this that Kishi was already identified as in bed with the Moonies.

Jiji news agency reported on Friday that Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki would be retained, and Industry Minister Koichi Hagiuda would either be kept or moved to another important post.

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, as well as ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Vice President Taro Aso, and Secretary-General Toshimitsu Motegi would also likely retain their positions, the Yomiuri also reported.

Well, tells you everything you need to know about how serious Kishida is about the Moonie-scandal: Hagiuda, and Aso have already been identified as having ties to the Moonies.

It's just all about getting these silly plebs to "understand" the situation...

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

No citizen can be prevented from joining a religion.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

He better accept Covid as a norm and open the border door wider....

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Everyday I'm (re)shufflin'

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"As far as I know" is code for I know but hope you don't find out.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

great leader thank you for your 40jpy refund from KDDI...i am so confused what will i do with that much of money.

no covid cash handouts,you do virtually nothing.hiding moonies background business nancing and ties,not helping to own citizens to cope with rising prices literally for everything.instead of this you are bussy to follow tightly antirussian and antichinese rhetoric as requested from WhiteHouse and travel around the world without producing of any results.

empty suits empty talk.just another overpaid oyaji from same politburo...

2 ( +7 / -5 )

maledae2Today  06:46 pm JST

He better accept Covid as a norm and open the border door wider.

Kishida recently met with medical experts to get their professional consensus based on their 2.5 years of research. Long story short, they said that covid is now an endemic and that it's fine to open up japan.

Upon hearing that news kishida said that he will have further meetings with other 'experts' to see how to progress with covid.

In other wotds, kishida didn't like the first group of experts' opinions so he's vibing to the next group of 'experts' to understand the situation which means unnecessarily prolonging this so-called pandemic.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

the same players will be appointed new titles, how does this help anything? Do they think the public is really that dumb?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan and US both need to stop poking their noses in other countries' internal affairs and start looking at ways to solve problems in their own countries. Not exactly a bed of roses. All that money wasted on weapons going on the black market via Ukraine.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

or perhaps 'find the lady' would be more apt....

The lady will be playing tennis then taking lunch with her friends, if she's like any of the yummy mummy's in setagaya-ku where I live. The last thing she will want to do is to sit at a desk for 12 hours a day with a bunch of ojisan regardless of how much the western feminist women and soy femboys want to control her behavior.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Shuffling the deck with only buffoons in the cards

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A dithering quasi reshuffle dawdle and pin the tail on the donkey circus act extravaganza.

Its not a state funeral because Abe's body won't be there.

Its a memorial service.

I think it's impossible that kishida doesn't know if he has any ties to the unification church.

Obviously he does !

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

South Korean Unification Church Virus needs to be stopped and countered!

Korean Unification Church was abusing and taking advantage of old people, women, widow's who lost their husband with children to look after... That's who the Unification Church targets! Robbed them of their money, resources, time, with promises of glory, salvation and god! Disgusting and predatory! Squid Games being played on Japanese Land and Soil!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

This is best you an do on the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing!! Huh!!!!!!!!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Is there a Unification "Church" in Ginza ?

Personally, I don't follow any particular Religion, I don't see why I should - but ... if in my Job, I had to join an Organization in order to give myself a better opportunity - such as a Professional organization - i.e. IEEE, BCS, etc. then that may be something I'd consider.... (though the BCS is pointless outside of the UK). So, perhaps the same was considered by being a member of this "Church" within the rank's of Abe's Political Circles.

That said, Religion and Politics are not a Healthy match - as time has told. Countries that continue to mix them, end up having various issues, one way or another. Perhaps Politicians should look towards Historical Lessons on such associations/commitments.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That all said, I personally am thankful to the "Masonic Society" - a couple of generations ago within my Family's past, they provided assistance to a then Family member of the organization - Which is clearly Completely the opposite of the "Mormons". Although I don't qualify for membership of that "Society", I believe that they can, and do, good. The Mormons however, have always had a bad reputation - Country to Country... I really can't see why people follow them so blindly - but then... it could simply be, as I mentioned before, something that is the done thing within the circles you work within.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is comedy gold! Rotten to the core, time to dress it up guys. Disgusting and disgraceful.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Is there anyone in the cabinet or Diet who isn't the brother or son or grandson of some prime minister or House of Councillors member or mayor?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sad to see the king Muppet Taro Aso is still there…

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Religion and politics are not a healthy match

Give me just one example of a Religion that's not involved in politics ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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