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Japan's leader reshuffles Cabinet to win opposition support for tax hike proposal
TOKYO (AP) ' Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is reshuffling his Cabinet in a bid to win more cooperation from the opposition in raising the sales tax.
His ministers resigned en masse Friday to pave the way for a new Cabinet to be formed later in the day.
Public broadcaster NHK said Noda would retain 12 of 17 positions, including the finance and foreign ministers.
The new lineup is expected to exclude two ministers who were criticized by the opposition for making inappropriate comments.
Noda has promised to submit a bill in the next parliamentary session to raise the 5 percent sales tax to help rein in the country's bulging fiscal deficit.