Abe Cabinet sees 500th day with no change of ministers

Abe Cabinet sees 500th day with no change of ministers

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's current administration greeted its 500th day on Friday, with none of its Cabinet members having been replaced since its inauguration on Dec. 26, 2012.

There have been eight administrations, including the current Abe Cabinet, since the end of World War II that lasted one year or longer without any replacements of cabinet members.

Of those eight, the duration of the current Abe administration-the second Abe Cabinet, after the first started in September 2006 and ended in August 2007-is the longest so far, having logged its 500th day with all members unchanged. The second most enduring cabinet was the first reshuffled Cabinet of Prime Minister Eisaku Sato, which lasted 425 days from June 1965 to August 1966.

The first Abe Cabinet was plagued by a spate of scandals and other irregularities within its ranks, and saw ministers change frequently.

In contrast, no conspicuous problems have troubled any members of the second Abe Cabinet, with its public rating remaining high.

As a government source put it: "Prime Minister Abe at the time of the first Cabinet tended to treat those legislators who were his close associates more or less preferentially, incurring criticism for a 'Cabinet of cronies.' When forming the current Cabinet, however, the prime minister selected the ministerial lineup in light of lessons learned from the short-lived first Cabinet. Cabinet ministers are also quite composed when making replies in response to Diet interpellations."

Abe has indicated that he intends to conduct a Cabinet reshuffle some time this coming summer.

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