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Wednesday, 1st July 2009
In General Japan News,

Japanese prime minister appoints new cabinet ministers

Japan's prime minister Taro Aso has named two new members of the government's cabinet in preparation for the upcoming elections.

Former defence minister Yoshimasa Hayashi is to step in as the country's new economics and finance minister, while Motoo Hayashi was appointed as chairman of the Public Safety Commission.

However, the appointments stopped short of the radical overhaul of top Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) personnel that some had expected as Prime Minister Aso looks to reinvigorate the embattled government.

Public support for Aso and the government is currently low, with opinion polls showing that approval of the LDP has fallen below 20 per cent ahead of the general elections which must take place towards the end of this year.

Last month, popular Miyazaki governor and former Takeshi's Castle star Hideo Higashikokubaru claimed that he would agree to run in the upcoming elections on the LDP ticket, but only on condition that he be listed as a candidate for party presidency.

Written by Mark Smith