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FRI, 13 JAN 2012 2:38P.M.
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 today 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 line-up is expected to exclude two ministers who were criticised 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.