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Abe to pick trade point man Motegi as Japan's top diplomat

Inner circle to stay in cabinet reshuffle, with new defense and economy ministers

Japanese trade negotiator Toshimitsu Motegi, left, shakes hands with American counterpart Robert Lighthizer in Washington.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe intends to appoint Toshimitsu Motegi as foreign minister in a leadership reshuffle next Wednesday, partly in recognition of his success at securing a trade deal with the U.S.

Abe is expected to retain the core of his cabinet and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's top ranks while bringing in fresh faces. This approach keeps with his stated focus on maintaining stability while tackling new challenges.

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