Japan's Prime Minister, Takeo Miki, announced a sweeping cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday evening (15 September), replacing 13 of his 20 ministers but leaving his chief rivals, Deputy Premier Takeo Fukuda and Finance Minister Masayoshi Ohira, in place.
Exterior Premier's residence (night)
Various LDP leaders arriving
1st meeting of new cabinet
New cabinet members down steps
CU Miki zoom to cabinet/CU Fukuda/Miki/Ohira/cabinet
Diet Chairman Kenzo Kono
Diet man speaking
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Background: Japan's Prime Minister, Takeo Miki, announced a sweeping cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday evening (15 September), replacing 13 of his 20 ministers but leaving his chief rivals, Deputy Premier Takeo Fukuda and Finance Minister Masayoshi Ohira, in place.
SYNOPSIS: The cabinet reshuffle was agreed on last weekend as part of a compromise between Mr. Miki and his opponents within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). The Prime Minister has been under intense pressure to resign from colleagues who accuse him of weak leadership. But it is well known that many of his opponents are angered by his insistence on a full investigation of the Lockheed scandal.
The new cabinet met for the first time late Wednesday (15 Sept.) Mr. Miki brought in 13 new ministers among them Foreign Minister Zenatarc Kosaka in place of Kiichi Miyazawa. Mr. Kosaka a was Japan's Foreign Minister between 1960 and 1962. The new cabinet will not last long, as general elections for the Lower House of Parliament must be called by December 9th. The reshuffle appeared to strengthen the Prime Minister's support int he cabinet But his grip on the LDP machinery seemed weakened by changes among sen??? party executives. This could prove crucial at a party convention due next month at which Mr. Miki's opponents hope to oust him from power.
The Prime Minister's two arch rivals in the cabinet -- Deputy Premier Take Fukuda and Finance Minister Masayoshi Ohira, were both left untouched by the shake-up. Both men command the support of major factions in the LDP and have been leaders of the oust-Miki campaign. under a compromise worked out earlier this week , a special, session of parliament was to have been held on Thursday morning (16 Sept.) to pass three urgent bills to cover a budget deficit. But the opening was held up by a boycott from the opposition parties, protesting that they were not properly consulted by the government over the special session.