Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appoints foreign ministers and new defense ministers, in addition to elevating rising political figures, in a Cabinet reshuffle announced on Wednesday.
The appointment of Shinjiro Koizumi, 38, who is also the son of former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi as minister of environment, has raised rumors in a political group in Tokyo that the Abe administration era is coming to an end.
“Abe may want to start a race to elect a candidate to fill the post with prime minister and then his successor”, said SMBC Nikki Securities chief market officer Yoshimasa Maruyama.
Shinjiro Koizumi received widespread media coverage when announcing her marriage to Christel Takigawa, a Japanese television announcer and news presenter, recently.
Shinjiro is the youngest third minister to be appointed to the Japanese Cabinet since the end of World War II, in a country with a strong political background.
Abe will be the longest serving Prime Minister of Japan this November, but he is expected to step down in the election of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in 2021, and his rivalry is expected to begin.
Meanwhile, Japan’s new foreign minister, Toshimitsu Motegi, was promoted following success, while conducting trade talks with the United States.
Taro Kono, a former foreign minister, was transferred to the defense portfolio, which was seen as an attempt to strengthen Japan’s position against South Korea, as relations between the two countries became strained in the region.
A week earlier, the Japanese PM during a meeting between the Japanese government, the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito said that he would like to choose a lineup that can ensure stability and meet new challenges.