Japan PM names new Cabinet, shifting some over church ties
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida reshuffled his Cabinet on Wednesday in an apparent bid to distance his administration from the conservative Unification Church over its ties to the assassinated leader Shinzo Abe and senior ruling party members.
The reshuffle was the second in just 10 months since Kishida took office following the July election victory that had been expected to ensure long-term stability until 2025. But Abe's shocking assassination on July 8 and its impact on politics increased uncertainty as public support for Kishida's Cabinet plunged.
Kishida told reporters Tuesday that a "strict review" of candidates' ties to the church would be a "prerequisite" in the new lineup of Cabinet officials and Liberal Democratic Party executives.
He said he had instructed his ministers and other senior officials to clarify their connection to the Unification Church "so that we can achieve political and administrative work that can be trusted by the people."