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Action on economy top challenge for Abe's new cabinet

Fresh set of ministers must implement growth policies, continue free-trade push

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reshuffled his cabinet Thursday but kept in place certain key officials, particularly those overseeing economic matters.

TOKYO -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's new cabinet faces the tough task of turning Japan's myriad plans to stoke economic growth and promote free trade into reality, producing concrete results that will win over a public that is increasingly skeptical of the government.

Abe replaced 14 of his 19 cabinet ministers on Thursday, bringing in both seasoned policymakers as well as six officials who have never served in cabinet-level positions.

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