Japan's Fukuda to reshuffle cabinet to boost support

Other News Materials 1 August 2008 08:26 (UTC +04:00)

Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda was expected to reshuffle his cabinet Friday in an effort to boost his government's support rate, dpa reported.

Fukuda apparently said that he would rename ministers with the future economy in mind amid surging oil and goods prices, as well as aging population, said Fukuda's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary General Bunmei Ibuki.

The cabinet members would resign en masse in the afternoon before Fukuda summons new ministers.

Fukuda was expected to appoint former foreign minister and his rival in the September premiership election, Taro Aso to LDP secretary general.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura was expected to remain in his post.

The prime minister's approval rating has fallen below 30 per cent in recent days, even after the expected boost as a result of hosting the Group of Eight summit in early July in Japan's northern city of Toyako.

LDP lawmakers have been pushing their leader to bring more of his own team into his cabinet. He inherited most of the current ministers from his predecessor, Shinzo Abe.