Prime Minister Fumio Kishida plans to reshuffle his Cabinet and the Liberal Democratic Party's leadership next Wednesday, government and ruling party sources said Friday.
The LDP and its junior coalition partner Komeito intend to maintain their alliance after the reshuffle, the sources said, dispelling speculation that the opposition Democratic Party for the People may also join the bloc.
Kishida conveyed the plan to senior members of his administration over the phone, said the sources. He is currently in India for a Group of 20 summit.
The upcoming reshuffle is apparently intended to freshen up the image of the Kishida administration as approval ratings for his Cabinet have remained sluggish, partly due to errors related to the My Number national identification system.
Among the LDP leadership, Kishida plans to retain Secretary General Toshimitsu Motegi and Vice President Taro Aso as they are thought to have maintained stable management of the party, the sources said.
Kishida is aiming to win re-election in the LDP's presidential election next year with the support of Aso and Motegi, who head major intraparty groups, according to the sources.
Motegi, who leads the third-largest group within the LDP, is widely seen as one of the potential challengers to Kishida in the upcoming party presidential race.
However, at a press conference this week, he stated that his current role as the party's secretary general requires him to support the current administration.
Kishida is expected to appoint LDP policy chief Koichi Hagiuda and industry minister Yasutoshi Nishimura to key positions within the Cabinet or the party, the sources said.
Since assuming his post in 2021, Kishida, who himself leads the LDP's fourth-largest faction, has sought to manage the power balance within the party.
Nishimura and Hagiuda belong to the largest intraparty group, once led by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was fatally shot in 2022, while Aso, another former prime minister, heads the second-biggest group.