Japan's new foreign minister to be Komura -media

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TOKYO, Sep 25 (Reuters) Masahiko Komura will be appointed Japan's foreign minister by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, NHK reported today.

Komura, previously defence minister, will replace Nobutaka Machimura and will face the task of extending beyond Nov. 1 a Japanese naval mission in support of US-led operations in Afghanistan that opposition parties do not favour.

Shigeru Ishiba has been picked to replace Komura as defence chief, a post he has held in the past, NHK said.

Fukuda was chosen as prime minister on Tuesday by parliament with the ruling coalition's overwhelming majority in the lower house which picks the premier.

His predecessor, Shinzo Abe, resigned abruptly earlier this month after a year in office marred by scandals, an election defeat and a deadlock over the support for the US-led Afghanistan mission.

REUTERS JK ND1420

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