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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 August 2 - 8  > More than half of reshuffled Abe Cabinet members belong to pro-Yasukuni parliamentarians’ group
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2017 August 2 - 8 [POLITICS]

More than half of reshuffled Abe Cabinet members belong to pro-Yasukuni parliamentarians’ group

August 4, 2017
It has come to light that out of 20 ministers in the reshuffled Abe Cabinet, 13, including Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, are members of the parliamentarians’ group which is closely allied with Japan’s largest pro-constitutional revisionist, rightist group Nippon Kaigi (Japan Conference).

The number of pro-Nippon Kaigi ministers decreased from 15 in the previous Cabinet line-up, persisting at the 60% level.

The latest Cabinet reshuffle represents the collapse of Abe’s way of forming his Cabinet with his rightist companions.

In the Cabinet reshuffle in August 2016, PM Abe picked Inada Tomomi for the Defense Minister as the highlight of his nominations. Abe assigned a task of implementing the war laws to Inada who is one of the core members of the pro-Yasukuni parliamentarians’ group, plays a prominent role in justifying Japan’s past war of aggression, and even advocates that Japan needs to be armed with nuclear weapons. However, Inada-related problems such as her alleged involvement in the cover-up of the Ground Self-Defense Force logs became a major cause of a free-fall in the Cabinet approval ratings and drove the Abe administration into the corner. In the Cabinet reorganization this time, PM Abe reinstated Onodera Itsunori as the Defense Minister.

Another core member of the pro-Nippon Kaigi group and PM Abe’s close aide, Hagiuda Koichi, was also kept out of the post of the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary due to an allegation that he applied pressure on the Education Ministry in regard to the issue of opening a veterinary department at the “Kake Gakuen” school cooperation.

Former Internal Affairs Minister Takaichi Sanae, Abe’s well-known fellow member of the Nippon Kaigi group, faced fierce public criticism against her remarks indicating the possible control by the authorities over broadcasters critical of the Abe government. In the new Cabinet line-up, Abe replaced Takaichi with Noda Seiko who reportedly distances herself from Abe.

Past related articles:
> All new Abe Cabinet ministers from LDP are members of ‘Yasukuni’ faction [August 5, 2016]
> Abe forms his Cabinet with members of pro-Yasukuni parliamentarians’ group [September 6, 2014]
> Rightist ministers make up 80% of Abe Cabinet [January 5, 2012]
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