Shinzo Abe of Japan Reshuffles Cabinet, Hoping to Shore Up Falling Support

But more than four and a half years later, only about a third of voters say they support his administration, according to opinion surveys by the Japanese news media.

For the post of defense minister, Mr. Abe chose Itsunori Onodera, a longtime lawmaker who held the same job in the first cabinet Mr. Abe formed after his 2012 victory.

Mr. Onodera replaces Tomomi Inada, who resigned under pressure on Friday over allegations that she had withheld information from Parliament about dangers faced by Japanese soldiers on a United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan. The episode added to the problems faced by Mr. Abe, who was already dealing with accusations of showing favoritism toward friends and conservative sympathizers, which he has denied.


Taro Kono, one of the Liberal Democratic Party’s most liberal voices, will be foreign minister.

Shizuo Kambayashi/Associated Press

The post of foreign minister went to Taro Kono, one of the most liberal voices in the governing Liberal Democratic Party. Mr. Kono is known for his vocal opposition to nuclear power after the meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in 2011, a position that has put him at odds with the pronuclear Liberal Democratic Party.

Mr. Kono’s father is Yohei Kono, a former foreign minister who, as chief cabinet secretary in 1993, issued a landmark apology to women from Korea and elsewhere who were coerced into working in Japanese military brothels during World War II. The so-called Kono Statement has long been resented by the nationalist right wing of the Liberal Democratic Party.

Tobias Harris, a Japan analyst at Teneo Intelligence, a political risk consultancy based in New York, said on Twitter that the lineup of new ministers “looks like a policy wonk cabinet.”

Mr. Kono succeeds Fumio Kishida, a moderate rival to Mr. Abe who is considered a potential successor as prime minister, and who did not receive a spot in the new cabinet. Mr. Kishida was instead given a top executive role in the Liberal Democratic Party, as chairman of its policy research council. Mr. Harris noted that members of Mr. Kishida’s faction of the party were given more posts than in the previous cabinet — five, up from three — strengthening his position.


Seiko Noda, the new minister of internal affairs and communications, will be…

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