Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today appointed new foreign and defence ministers and appointed a rising political star as environment minister. The cabinet reshuffle has fuelled speculation over Abe's successor.
The Japanese Prime Minister named Toshimitsu Motegi as the new foreign minister, replacing Kono Taro, who moves to the defence portfolio. The telegenic Shinjiro Koizumi, the 38-year-old son of much-loved former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, was appointed as environment minister.
SMBC Nikko Securities chief market economist Yoshimasa Maruyama said Abe intends to start an open race to pick the next prime minister or even the one after that.
Shinjiro Koizumi is the third-youngest minister appointed to the cabinet in Japan since the end of World War II.
Abe is set to become Japan's longest-serving prime minister in November this year but is expected to step down at the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leadership election in 2021 and the jostling for position is already beginning. (AIR NEWS)