politics

Political jockeying begins for post-Kan premiership

14 Comments

Michiko Kano, the minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, is the latest candidate for the expected leadership election for the Demcratic Party of Japan.

Supporters of Kano, 69, said Saturday that he is planning to run in the election, expected to be called in late August, after Prime Minister Naoto Kan steps down. Kano's supporters have confirmed that he will officially announce his candidacy next week.

Kan, 64, promised weeks ago that he would step aside once three laws are passed — an extra budget for disaster reconstruction, a bill to help finance it with new bonds, and a law to promote renewable energy. The supplementary budget bill was enacted last month, and the two major parties agreed last week to also pass the other two bills by Aug 26, paving the way for Kan to leave the scene.

Finance Minister Yoshiko Noda, 54, is also a frontrunner in the leadership election. Noda has been proposing sweeping changes in an attempt to establish himself as a leadership candidate. Although he backed Kan's push to cut huge public debt through fiscal reforms, including a proposed increase in the 5% sales tax, Noda has distanced himself from Kan's call for a future free of nuclear energy, declaring in a magazine interview this month that Japan's best option was to restart reactors after they have undergone thorough safety checks.

On the question of a proposed tax increase, Noda told NHK on Frida, "We will not achieve any unity on this issue if there are impetuous overreactions." Noda has deflected media speculation about his candidacy for the past few days by saying the stock market turmoil and surging yen has been taking up all his time.

Meanwhile, former Environment Minister Sakihito Ozawa, 57, also came close to announcing his candidacy in a television interview recently, when he said, "I'd like to throw my hat into the ring. I think I'm up to the challenge."

Other possible candidates include Sumio Mabuchi, 51, who was transport minister when Japan was embroiled last year in a bitter territorial island row with China; Shinji Tarutoko, 52, the DPJ's chief of parliamentary affairs; Banri Kaeda, 62, the current economy, trade and industry minister; and former high-profile Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara, 49, but he has not yet voiced his clear intentions.

Despite rumors that some ministers wanted to inaugurate a new administration before the end of the current Diet session by holding the election on Aug 28, supporters of the various candidates have been unable to campaign publicly because current Kan has not yet officially announced the date of his withdrawal.

© Japan Today

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14 Comments
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Position of PM is not child toys. May ea Japan need law that would forbid left of PM about 2years. But also parliament must be more responsibility for vote of PM candidate.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I think Maehara is the best of a pretty useless bunch, and Seiji is at least a man's name. ^o^

We can't say that for Mr Kano... : )

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Noda has distanced himself from Kan’s call for a future free of nuclear energy, declaring in a magazine interview this month that Japan’s best option was to restart reactors after they have undergone thorough safety checks.

Right, couldn't see that coming about the move to restart the nuclear reactors even though it has been conclusively demonstrated that the prior standards of earthquake resistance (S1, S2, and so on history) are inadequate measurements.

I just have one question for these nuclear pundits, and I have the pleasure of quoting an oft used phrase by Tokyo mayor Ishihara, "Does he really love his country?"

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Kan - get out NOW! Japanese think you are worst leader for Japan ever! Too weak for manage disasters, too weak for stand up to Koreas and CHina always bully, very weak terrible leader.Japan is weak and embarrassing because of you, get out of here now! We want LDP back NOW!

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Kentaro75.

Because LDP and their new leader will solve all problems with their magic wands. He will make fukushima, etc all go away and Japan will turn into a country of milk and honey. Got caught up in a Sylvanian dream there for a bit.

Sorry, Kan is doing ok and there is no-one to replace him now from either party.

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" a proposed increase in the 5% sales tax"

That's a bad idea. Cut spending instead.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I seriously think they just put on a game of musical chairs in the diet and rotate positions. No one can elect these clowns personally, which I'm sure they're thankful for.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Kentaro75: "Kan - get out NOW! Japanese think you are worst leader for Japan ever!"

Still angry about Japan not illegally keeping the Chinese fishermen, I see. Well, there's nothing that could have been done, regardless of government. Of course, if you wanted your government to be the same as China they could have kept them without regard for law and then some. I always find it funny that those most strongly against China and Korea at the most similar to the Chinese way of governing. Right wingers here are the prime example.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Kan - get out NOW! Japanese think you are worst leader for Japan ever! Too weak for manage disasters, too weak for stand up to Koreas and CHina always bully, very weak terrible leader.Japan is weak and embarrassing because of you, get out of here now! We want LDP back NOW!

Kentaro75 - so you're talking about the same LDP that built all the totally unsafe nuclear reactors in Japan right? So Kan is actually mopping up the mess the LDP made in the first place? Oh, and in the 6 years I've lived in Japan, he is the first of 6 Prime Ministers to actually do something for the Japanese people (by shutting doen the Hamaoka nuclear plant - even if he supposedly got a little nudge from Obama) - what exactly have the LDP ever done? I await your reply with baited breath - even if it's only two words long and the second word is "all".

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Kentaro75Aug. 13, 2011 - 11:06PM JST

May be you have fair anger. But that problems is not only from Kan. This is problems of Japanese politics elite and Japanese business elite. After 1945 Japan had been more strongest and change world, but always stay beyond US. But size economic of Japan is very big as economic of USA, also size of economic of China very big too. Because USA can not defense of Japan, but politics and business of Japan may be not ready manage of Japan without power help from USA. May be now business elite and political elite of Japan really don't see world way. We in Russia very surprised when see as Japanese business hesitate towards China. That behavior contrast with heroes of Toshiro Mifune and Raizo Ichikawa.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All PM candidates need to make an official announcement with their clear VISION to J. public. I would like to read them all what they have to say. This is a serious business. Transparency, transparency and transparency!!!

No more mistakes should be allowed and repeated as Japan has no room for mistakes any more.

Forget about a child allowance and set a "manifest" aside. The top priority is a job growth.

JOB-JOB-JOB. Put your country first and put all J. workers back to work!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sure, when there's rot, cockroaches will attend.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They are not jockeying. Jockeys by their own efforts and abilities actually have some influence on the outcome of an event, a horse race. Japanese politicians do not influence events. They merely do what the bureaucracy and Keidanren tell them to do. The metaphor is inappropriate. They are actually "monkeying."

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

First thing a new LDP PM would do is to piss off the Chinese and Koreans by visiting Yasukuni Shrine. Then they would set their cronies out to rewrite some more school books white washing Japan's Past. Then they will suck up to the American government, PU! Kan really needs to stay in office and if his peers vote him out so be it. warnerbro, you are such a "charmer", I understand you are from Korea? Are you protesting to join your relatives from the North? Perhaps invite the greet leader to rule the South as well?

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