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Monday, August 27, 2007 4:40 am

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Yoichi Masuzoe set for the Cabinet?

Yoichi Masuzoe, one of Japan’s best-known political commentators, known from political TV shows such as “Takajin no soko made itte, iincho” and Takeshi Kitano’s more lightweight “Beat Takeshi no TV tackle,” might be one of the new faces Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will introduce to his Cabinet in Monday’s reshuffle, several Japanese news outlets reported Sunday night.

Masuzoe, a former Tokyo University associate professor, tumbled into politics after he authored the book “When I Put a Diaper on My Mother” in 1998 about how he took care of his dying mother which soon became a best-seller. He is known for being highly critical of Japan’s lacking welfare system, especially for the elderly. He was first elected to the Upper House in 2001, backed by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

The choice of Masuzoe, who has been critical of some of his policies, could be seen as an attempt by Abe to would silence critics who claim he is a factionalist who only bestows high positions to his own.

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