Former Japanese defense minister Onodera to take post again

Itsunori-OnoderaTOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will appoint Itsunori Onodera as defense minister in a Cabinet reshuffle scheduled for Thursday, NHK television reported on Wednesday.

Onodera, who held the post for almost two years after Abe returned to power in 2012, will take over from interim minister Fumio Kishida, who stepped in temporarily after Tomomi Inada resigned amid a series of gaffes and a cover-up scandal that contributed to a plunge in public support for Abe.

Onodera’s appointment comes amid regional instability as North Korea continues to test-launch missiles in defiance of UN sanctions, and as China maintains its assertive stance in the East and South China Seas.