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Japanese Leader Names New Cabinet

October 31, 2005

TOKYO (AP) _ Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi named a new Cabinet on Monday, putting outspoken conservatives _ and potential successors _ in top positions and retaining his economic team.

Koizumi, who has said he will step down at the end of his term next September, named right-leaning Shinzo Abe as his top government spokesman, and Public Management Minister Taro Aso as foreign minister.

The popular prime minister was expected to put his favorites for next premier in leading positions. He also was expected to favor supporters of his reform agenda, including the privatization of the postal service.

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