Japanese Foreign Minister Kiichi Aichi has lost his job in a major cabinet reshuffle, the first since the general elections of December 1969.
GV EXT Prime Minister's residence
SV Mr. Fukuda enters
SV Mr. Masuhara
SV Mr. Maeo enters
CU PAN Mr. Niwa enters
SV PAN Mr. Nakasone enters
CU Mr. Mizuta on steps
SV Mr. Takeshita enters
SV Mr. Sato leads new cabinet onto steps
CU Mr. Fukuda
CU Mr. Maeo
CU Mr. Tanaka
GV New cabinet being photographed
CU New cabinet passing camera
Initials BB/1556 RJ/PW/BB/1610 Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Japanese Foreign Minister Kiichi Aichi has lost his job in a major cabinet reshuffle, the first since the general elections of December 1969. Mr. Aichi was replaced by Finance Minister Takeo Fukuda, considered one of the major contenders to replace Prime Minister Eisaku Sato when he retires next year. Several familiar faces were missing when the new cabinet posed for photographers after the shakeup. There was a new Secretary General, Mr. Shigeru Hori, and a new Finance Minister, Mr. Mikio Mizuta. This post is one of the most important in view of Japan's current battle with Western nations to force a revaluation of the Yen.
SYNOPSIS: Japan's Prime Minister, Mr. Eisaku Sato, has announced a major cabinet reshuffle following recent elections....the first shakeup since the elections of late 1969. The biggest shock of all was the naming of Mr. Takeo Fukuda as Foreign Minister. He is seen in Japan as a major contender to replace Mr. Sato who retires next year.
Former Defence Secretary, Mr. Yasuhiro Nakasone, loses his post, but takes on the mantle of President of the ruling party. Its a position which gives him more power to influence party politics.
Mr. Sato introduced his new ministers to the news media. The 70 year old Prime Minister has announced he will retire in Autumn next year. Already candidates are lining up to take his place. Among the favourites is Mr. Fukuda who's elevation is seen as strengthening his position within the party.
A number of familiar faces were missing when the new cabinet faced the cameras. Among others to take on new posts were Mr. Shigeru Hori, who takes over the Secretary General's portfolio, and Mr. Mikio Mizuta, who becomes the new Finance Minister. Perhaps the hardest job falls to Mr. Mizuta. Japan faces strong pressure from Western Nations to revalue the Yen...something which she is determined not to do.