Japan PM to reshuffle cabinet, seeking support for tax plan

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said on Sunday he planned to reshuffle his Cabinet on Monday as he aims to secure the support of the opposition Liberal Democratic Party for his plan to double the sales tax.
"We'll implement Cabinet reshuffling on Monday," Noda told reporters after he failed to win support for his signature initiative in a meeting with the main powerbroker in his own party, Ichiro Ozawa.
Ozawa, who has consistently opposed the tax hike plan, told reporters after the meeting that the discussion ended without any progress. Noda did not elaborate on the reshuffle.
Defence minister Naoki Tanaka and transport minister Takeshi Maeda, who were both censured in April by the opposition-dominated Upper House, are likely to be replaced.
Noda, a former finance minister, has pledged to bring the tax hike plan to vote in the current session of parliament that ends on June 21.
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