Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda reshuffled his cabinet on Monday, naming Koriki Jojima, a senior member of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), as new finance minister.
Foreign minister Koichiro Gemba was among heavyweight names keeping their posts in the reshuffle
as Noda looks to move past a damaging row with China and boost his flagging popularity.
Noda, whose DPJ governs in coalition with a smaller grouping, told reporters the changes would boost his government.
"This is a reshuffle that will help the government and the ruling parties cooperate to address a number of issues we are facing domestically and diplomatically and further strengthen the function of the cabinet."
The reshuffle comes as the prime minister's poll numbers remain dreary after a costly battle over legislation to double sales tax.
It also comes as Tokyo is embroiled in a row with Beijing over the sovereignty of a group of islands in the East China Sea, known as the Senkakus in Japan and the Diaoyus in China.
Noda elevated Makiko Tanaka to the cabinet as new education minister, a woman with pro-Beijing credentials reflecting her father's status as the prime minister who normalised ties with China in 1972.