Support for new Cabinet soars

TOKYO: Buoyed by the appointment of a popular young lawmaker to a top party post, voter support for Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's new media-friendly Cabinet soared in surveys released yesterday, an auspicious sign for his party ahead of expected November elections. 

The Cabinet line-up is also likely to play well in Washington ahead of US President George W. Bush's visit to Japan next month, given the addition of ministers with hawkish views on North Korea and retention of a key architect of economic reform. 

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