Abe pledges pushing policies forward


Shinzo Abe replaced more than half of his ministers on Thursday amid falling cabinet approval rates. He apologized for inviting public distrust over a series of scandals.

Abe says “I would like to once again reflect deeply and apologize to the Japanese people. We’ll be trying and working step by step to regain the trust of the people by steadily producing results on each and every policy issue.”

Opposition lawmakers allege that government officials gave favorable treatment to the prime minister’s supporters over plans to open schools, in one case, based on influence from Abe’s office.

Abe denies misusing his influence, but the issues have made headlines and been debated in the Diet for months.

Abe says he appointed experienced politicians to prop up ministries and accelerate administrative reform.

The shakeup comes days after North Korea test-launched what it called an intercontinental ballistic missile. Abe says he chose new foreign and defense ministers who can further enhance Japan’s security and diplomacy.

A fire broke out at the outer market of the famed Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward on Thursday, burning seven buildings covering 935 square meters. (Jiji)

Japan’s prime minister says he has formed a new cabinet to regain the people’s trust and push forward his policies. (NHK)

In a bid to put the brakes on his tumbling popularity, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe engineered a make-or-break reshuffle of his scandal-tainted Cabinet on Thursday, gravitating toward veterans to avoid further trouble. (Japan Times)

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says the groundwater level briefly plummeted near a building that houses one of the crippled reactors. (NHK)

Sumo’s former yokozuna Asashoryu has been named as a Mongolian presidential envoy in charge of boosting relations with Japan. (NHK)

Homebuilder Sekisui House was swindled in a land deal valued at more than 6 billion yen earlier this year, the company revealed on Wednesday, reports TV Asahi (tokyoreporter.com)

A woman on a motorcycle was killed and 10 people were injured in a pair of multiple-vehicle collisions Thursday in an expressway tunnel in Shimada, Shizuoka Prefecture, police said. (Japan Times)

Toyota Motor and Mazda Motor are closing in on a capital partnership deal to pave the way for possible establishment of a joint-venture U.S. auto plant and joint development of key electric vehicle technologies, The Nikkei learned Thursday. (Nikkei)

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reshuffled the Liberal Democratic Party leadership on Thursday. He is set to appoint his new Cabinet later in the day. (NHK)

The 27-year-old primary school teacher from China had travelled there for a solo trip and was staying in a hostel in Sapporo, a picturesque, mountainous city on the island of Hokkaido. (news.com.au)


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