[TOKYO] Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe retained close allies in key posts in a cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday, playing it safe as he refocuses on the economy after enacting divisive security legislation that dented his popularity.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, Finance Minister Taro Aso and Economics Minister Akira Amari were among those who retained their portfolios. Defence Minister Gen Nakatani and Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida also stayed, said Mr Suga, who announced the new line-up at the prime minister's office.
Mr Abe named veteran lawmaker Motoo Hayashi in the trade and industry portfolio, replacing Yoichi Miyazawa after just over one year in the post.
Hiroshi Hase, a former professional wrestler, replaced Hakubun Shimomura as education minister.