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PM Confirms Ministerial Replacements Coming 14 Dec Amid Funding Scandal


As we noted in a previous note (see 0911GMT bullet 12 Dec) under-fire PM Fumio Kishida has confirmed that he intends to replace several ministers on Thursday 14 Dec amid a continued scandal regarding funding within the governing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its various factions. Kishida: "We have a strong sense of crisis and will take a unified response to the political funding problems".

  • Kishida: "Japan is at a critical juncture on whether it can emerge from a deflationary-minded economy." Kishida: "Govt' will take policies to help achieve wage growth that exceeds rate of inflation next year."
  • Nikkei reports that Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, and the ministers of Economy, Trade and Industry; Internal Affairs and Communications; and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries are set to be replaced. There is no sign of a wider Cabinet reshuffle, which sees all ministers tender their resignations. Matsuno and the three ministers set to be replaced all hail from the LDP faction linked to the late PM Shinzo Abe, which has been at the centre of the funding scandal.
  • Kishida remains in a vulnerable position, with approval ratings for his gov't in the low 20's, a level of support which can often presage an internal leadership challenge. The PM faces an LDP leadership conference in autumn 2024, where he could be replaced if his support levels have not turned around.

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