TOKYO (AP) — Japan's prime minister is reshuffling his Cabinet in a bid to gain support from the opposition over a sales tax bill.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's Cabinet resigned en masse Monday to pave way for the minor reshuffle. Five of the 17 posts will be replaced.
Opposition lawmakers have demanded the removal of the defense minister, Naoki Tanaka, over gaffes and lack of expertise. They also want three other ministers — transport, justice and agriculture — removed over separate allegations of misbehavior.
The reshuffle comes a day after Noda met with ruling party veteran Ichiro Ozawa, who opposes the proposed tax bill — to double the 5 percent sales tax by 2015. Noda says the tax plan is needed to reduce public debt and fund disaster recovery costs.