Japan replaces foreign, defence ministers in major reshuffle

TOKYO, Sep 13 (CNA) - Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida replaced his defence and foreign ministers on Wednesday (Sep 13), while increasing the number of women in the cabinet, in a major reshuffle.

The replacement of the two key ministers, which came as North Korea fired two ballistic missiles and tensions with China rose, was motivated by internal party politics.

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi was succeeded by former justice minister Yoko Kamikawa, 70, one of five women in the new cabinet, government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters.

Kamikawa was justice minister when Japan executed five years ago the leader and members of Aum Shinrikyo, sentenced to death for their role in the fatal 1995 sarin attack on the Tokyo subway.

Defence Minister Yasukazu Hamada was succeeded by Minoru Kihara, 54, who previously served as parliamentary secretary of defence.

Shunichi Suzuki retains his position as finance minister in the world's third-largest economy.

Farm minister Tetsuro Nomura, who recently was accused of calling treated water released from the stricken Fukushima plant "contaminated water", was replaced by Ichiro Miyashita, 65. ...continue reading