Japan’s PM to restart cabinet after victory in election

Insight Online news

Tokyo, Nov 9 : Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to restart his cabinet on Wednesday, after the ruling coalition won the general election on October 31, giving him a public mandate to pursue his economic and diplomatic agenda.

The lineup of ministers will remain basically unchanged as they were appointed just over a month ago, with a new face of Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi expected to be added.

Hayashi, who studied at Harvard University and had served as education minister and farm minister previously, will work as foreign minister after Toshimitsu Motegi left office to become Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)’s secretary general, the party’s No. 2 post, according to Kyodo News.

Under the Japanese Constitution, the cabinet must resign collectively when the first session of Parliament is held after the general election. As the parliament is scheduled to convene a special session on Wednesday to confirm Kishida will remain in the post as prime minister, he will then appoint cabinet members.

Faced with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, Kishida is expected to formulate and ensure funding for a stimulus package worth over 30 trillion yen (265 billion US dollars) within the year, including a plan of handing out 100,000 yen in cash and vouchers to everyone aged 18 or younger, NHK News reported.

Kishida has also pledged to narrow the income gap in response to criticism that the “Abenomics” only promoted corporate profits and stock prices without increasing wages.

The alliance of the LDP and its partner Komeito retained a comfortable majority in the House of Representatives, the powerful lower chamber of parliament, in the October 31 general election.

The LDP won 261 seats in the lower house, 15 fewer than it previously held but sufficient to effectively control all standing committees and steamroll through legislation when needed, with Komeito increasing the number of seats to 32 from 29 previously held.

The lower house has special powers not given to the upper chamber, the House of Councillors, including having the final say in electing the prime minister, passing state budgets and ratifying international treaties. (1 US dollar = 112.89 Japanese yen)


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