Ja­panese PM says he will reshuf­fle Cab­i­net and party lead­ers next month

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

TOKYO — Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe will reshuf­fle his Cab­i­net and party lead­ers early next month, mov­ing to shore up his worst lev­els of pop­u­lar sup­port since re­turn­ing to power in 2012, fol­low­ing a his­toric loss in a Tokyo as­sem­bly elec­tion.

Last week’s loss, de­liv­ered by a novice po­lit­i­cal group, spot­lights Abe’s po­ten­tial vul­ner­a­bil­ity af­ter nearly five years in power, with many blam­ing voter per­cep­tions of ar­ro­gance on his part and that of his pow­er­ful Chief Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary, Yoshi­hide Suga.

Opin­ion polls on Mon­day showed Abe’s pop­u­lar­ity at its low­est since he re­turned to power late in 2012, with sup­port of 36 per­cent in one con­ducted by the con­ser­va­tive Yomi­uri Shim­bun news­pa­per — tum­bling from 49 per­cent a month ear­lier.

An­other, in the lib­eral Asahi, found sup­port of 33 per­cent, a slide from 38 per­cent from a week ear­lier, with 60 per­cent of in­de­pen­dent vot­ers not sup­port­ing Abe’s cab­i­net — num­bers Suga said the prime min­is­ter was aware of.

“I be­lieve he wants to sin-

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