Taro Aso reappointed as Japanese finance minister, new foreign minister named

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TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has chosen his new cabinet, reappointing key economic ministers but replacing his defense and foreign ministers in a sweeping reshuffle, the top government spokesman said on Thursday.

Abe re-appointed Taro Aso as finance minister, top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga, who will also remain in his job, told a news conference.

Aso, who was also re-appointed as deputy prime minister, has held both portfolios since Abe swept to power in late 2012, pledging to revive the stagnant economy.

Abe also re-appointed Hiroshige Seko as trade minister, but named Taro Kono to the foreign ministry post and former defense minister Itsunori Onodera to the defense portfolio.

With his support plunging to below 30 percent in some polls, Abe hopes to revive his flagging popularity with the reshuffle, but the stock market initially shrugged off the lineup, most of which was reported the day before.

Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto, Kiyoshi Takenaka, Stanley White, Leika Kihara and Elaine Lies; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim

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