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How would you compare the roles of Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano in terms of showing leadership ability during the crisis of the past five weeks?

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I would prefer a PM Edano. Most Japanese folks I have spoken to seem to agree. Edano has been concise, clear and calm (whether that was completely justified is another question) while Kan has been, in the words of my wife, "useless." Ambassador Roos beat PM Kan to the crisis zone by several days. Ouch.

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Edano was certainly an inspiration to watch, for the whole country. What was it, 105hours without sleep? Edano nero!

That said, I understand from some in the press that Kan was doing a lot behind the scenes, doing the deals which need to be done, and which will never be public but require PM signoff, and so I'm sure he knew his PMship was finished on March 12th.

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cleo -- agree. They have different roles. I'm not sure what "leadership" Edano has actually displayed, since he is really nothing but the government's press secretary. But, I will say, his handling of the issue over whether the alert level should be raised seems suspect at best. There was evidence that it should be, but he just sent it back for more study. And, Kan is clearly out of his element in having to actually work without a script. Crisis management skills are clearly lacking.

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compared to what, I dont see much leadership anywhere in this crisis or for the previous 20yrs I have been here.

Hopefully these 2 are doing more "off screen" so to speak but Edano is mostly just reading whats in front of him, but maybe that is a start of leadership here, hell we can hope I suppose

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Leadership or acting ability? It must have been hard to put on a calm face knowing the problem was worse than the script they were reading.

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I liked Edano when he was wearing his gas station attendant jacket. Somehow the suit and necktie he changed to afterwards lacks the required gravitas in his case.

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compared to what, I dont see much leadership anywhere in this crisis or for the previous 20yrs I have been here.

Ok, GW, how about compared to the roles/leadership displays of PM and Chief Cabinet Secretary during the Hanshi-Awaji Quake of 1995?

(Actually if the question were about the performance rather than role, it would make more sense to me.)

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From my perspective, they are both holding up better than I would, and better than I would expect from your run-of-the-mill, son-of-a-polician's sons who make up such a large percentage of the Diet, based-entirely on heredity rather than ability.

Sometimes having low expectations is a blessing. That said, Edano's stamina has been very impressive.

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We only got to see Edano most of the time, so it is difficult to judge. He really did a great job and he looks like having lost weight. I liked the way he was always calm. I think Kan's voice would have naturally stressed me out more. On the other hand, I would have expected the leader to give out all of the explanations, not only in this case but in general and not some sort of secretary or underling.

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I did not observe very much in the way of leadership from either of those two individuals, although Edano got the most on-camera time. It seemed that his role was to reveal the tiny bits of data that TEPCO permitted to be released for public consumption.

A month later, I am still wondering why the word Plutonium is never mentioned anywhere, as I believe it is being released into the environment as a result of the meltdown.

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this has another 5 years to go. Ask me then

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Good yakuiwaribuntan in Japanese terms. Let Edano be a spokesperson, reading a script prepared by bureaucrats, and allow Kan do the decision making in the background. Two totally different jobs that can't be compared. Dread to think what people like Aso and Hatoyama would have done...

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I think both of them are trying their best to do their job as a leader to this country even though some people are not satisfied or criticized their ability of what's going right now.Let's hope Japan will over the crisis and built a new happy life to the victims.

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