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Japan's PM to reshuffle cabinet in 'damage control'

10/8/2022 12:17
        Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will reshuffle his cabinet, removing some ministers with links to the Unification Church in a bid to stem plunging support amid growing public outrage over the ruling party's ties to the controversial group.
        
        Kishida, in office since last October, will announce his new government team later on Wednesday in a reshuffle that has come earlier than analysts had expected.
        
        But in the month since former premier Shinzo Abe was gunned down, the Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) long-standing ties to the church have emerged in polls showing falling approval ratings as a growing liability for Kishida. Abe's suspected killer has said his mother was a church member bankrupted by donating to it, and blamed Abe for promoting it.
        
        That has brought a rare public focus in Japan on the group, which critics call a cult, with lawmakers from the conservative LDP having previously appeared at events sponsored by church affiliates. The issue has helped drive Kishida's public support rating to below 50%, its lowest since he became prime minister.
        



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