. . . Political Situation - INFO 03 July, August, September

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SPECIAL : The Political Situation

INFO 03 July, August, September, December 2011


Since May 2011 and maybe even before that, the opposition is trying hard to oust prime minister Kan, even on his trip to Europe they kept going ...

Most of the population does not want a change of government right now, though.

This political infight at a time when unity and support for the people of Tohoku is needed most of all is quite sad to observe.

The main source of the bulletins is from
source : NHK world news .

Here I collect updates of the development.
Since this is going to take more time than I envisaged, it will come in more parts.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan 菅直人

May 2011 till Sunday, June 5, 2011
. The Political Situation - PART 1 .

June 2011
. The Political Situation - PART 2 .


Friday, July 01, 2011

Mr. Kan's thoughtless headhunting
Following the Reconstruction Design Council's submission last weekend of proposals for the reconstruction of areas affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and the subsequent nuclear disaster, Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Monday appointed Mr. Goshi Hosono, one of his aides, as minister to deal with the nuclear crisis, and made disaster management minister Ryu Matsumoto minister in charge of the reconstruction, both posts newly created.
Mr. Kan also made a move that will most likely backfire. He appointed Liberal Democratic Party Upper House member Kazuyuki Hamada 浜田和幸 as internal affairs parliamentary secretary in charge of the reconstruction.
This action will harden the LDP's attitude and make Diet deliberations on measures for the reconstruction extremely difficult. It even alienated some Democratic Party of Japan leaders, including the DPJ's Diet affairs committee chief Jun Azumi.

Clearly Mr. Kan tried to headhunt 10 or more LDP Upper House members to enable the DPJ to control the Upper House but ended up recruiting only Mr. Hamada. He should be criticized for making such a reckless move without careful preparation.
Other DPJ leaders should also be criticized for their failure to stop him from taking such a step.

On Monday, Mr. Kan also made it clear that he will not resign until the Diet passes a bill to issue deficit-covering bonds to finance the initial fiscal 2011 budget, the second supplementary budget for fiscal 2011, and a feed-in-tariff system bill to make power companies purchase all the electricity generated through renewable energy sources.

This announcement will be taken as another attempt to prolong his political life. He had announced in early June that he would step down in the near future.
The announcement could lower his trustworthiness as a national leader, creating the impression that he is only interested in staying in power.

Apparently behind his announcement is the sly calculation that the more the opposition opposes the passage of the three bills, the longer he will remain as prime minister.
Mr. Kan should be ashamed for causing political confusion as well as his inconsistency over energy policy. While he pushes the feed-in-tariff bill, he has endorsed a move to restart nuclear power plants, except the Fukushima and Hamaoka facilities.
source : Japan Times

. . . . .

source : Japan Times
Kan's exit will spur reforms talk: Edano
Full discussions will commence on how to improve the social security system once Prime Minister Naoto Kan resigns, based on the latest reform plan that proposes raising the consumption tax in stages to 10 percent by the mid-2010s, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Friday.
Economy and fiscal policy minister Kaoru Yosano, a key player in efforts to improve the social security system, reported the plan to a Cabinet meeting Friday.
After the meeting, Edano told a news conference that the reform plan was not only crafted by Kan's Cabinet but by the government, noting it will remain valid even after the prime minister's resignation, the timing of which has not been decided.
Kan, criticized for his perceived lack of leadership, announced last month his intention to resign after passing bills to rebuild the devastated northeast in the current Diet session, which runs through the end of August.


Sunday, July 03, 2011

Sengoku urges Kan to resign soon

Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku on Saturday urged Prime Minister Naoto Kan to step down soon, saying a clean break is necessary.

"A leader who remains in his post after expressing his readiness to resign will end up having no authority," Sengoku told reporters in the city of Tokushima. "It would be better to avoid such a situation."
Kan has expressed his willingness to step down amid strong criticism from both opposition and ruling party lawmakers over his perceived lack of leadership in dealing with the aftermath of the March 11 disasters and the nuclear crisis.
However, the prime minister has indicated he will not resign until three key pieces of legislation are passed this Diet session, which runs through Aug. 31 — the second extra budget for fiscal 2011; a bill to let the government issue deficit-covering bonds; and a bill aimed at promoting the use of renewable energy sources. ...
source : Japan Times


Monday, July 04, 2011

Monday, July 04, 2011 22:27 - NHK
Threatening letters sent to Kan and Ozawa
Police are investigating who was responsible for sending 2 letters demanding that Prime Minister Naoto Kan resign.
One of the letters was delivered to Kan's office on Friday. It was in an envelope that also contained an 8 centimeter long knife blade.
The letter said that if the prime minister didn't resign, Kan would be "punished by heaven".
Police say a similar envelope was delivered one day earlier to the office of former Democratic Party leader Ichiro Ozawa.
The envelope contained an awl and a letter saying that Kan must step down for the sake of Japan's reconstruction.
Police say both envelopes were believed to have been mailed from Osaka Prefecture.
They are treating the 2 letters as attempted blackmail by the same person, judging from the handwriting.
Both letters end with the name Sekihotai.
In the 1980s, a group calling itself Sekihotai claimed responsibility for a series of threats and attacks against the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.


Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Wednesday, July 06, 2011 11:58 - NHK
Kan under increasing pressure to resign
Prime Minister Naoto Kan is under growing pressure to step down following the resignation of his reconstruction minister.
Ryu Matsumoto quit his post on Tuesday, after coming under fire for making insensitive remarks to governors of regions hit hard by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
Kan says he intends to pull his Cabinet together and improve its handling of reconstruction measures.
On Wednesday at a Lower House Budget Committee meeting, the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party and the New Komeito plan to make clear Kan's responsibility for appointing Matsumoto.
They say the prime minister's refusal to leave is hampering recovery efforts, and that they will demand he step down immediately.
Some senior officials of the main governing Democratic Party are openly criticizing Kan for his handling of Matsumoto's resignation.
Diet affairs chief Jun Azumi has warned that the Kan administration will collapse if it gives no consideration to party members overseeing Diet affairs.
DPJ supreme advisor Kozo Watanabe, who supported Kan at last year's party leadership election, also said Kan should resign as soon as possible.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Kan under fire from his own team
Cabinet gets apology for flip-flop on reactor restart
Prime Minister Naoto Kan apologized to his Cabinet on Friday morning over the confusion he caused by his sudden order that "stress tests" be conducted on all nuclear power plants in Japan.

During a closed meeting with Cabinet ministers, various participants expressed dissatisfaction with Kan, who is now intent on holding the safety tests before now-idled reactors are restarted.
The administration scrambled to unify its policy and is expected to announce new safety guidelines, including the stress tests, as early as possible.
"My instruction was inadequate and came too late, and I feel responsible for this. I would like to offer my apology," Kan was quoted as saying by national policy minister Koichiro Genba.
Public safety commission chairman Kansei Nakano urged Kan to come up with a coordinated safety policy.
"It is not good to continue giving off the impression that the Cabinet is inconsistent. I would like (Kan) to make efforts to unify" the government's policy, Kansei said.
Just last month, industry minister Banri Kaieda said the reactors undergoing regular checkups cleared the safety criteria and asked local governments to reactivate them amid strong national concern over the radiation-spewing Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
But under the prime minister's recent orders, Kaieda had to announce the government's plan to conduct the stress tests, triggering confusion and anger among local governments and residents living near nuclear plants.
... "I am very sorry for causing concern and inconvenience to the people, especially those in Saga's Genkai," said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano. "It is my responsibility for the overall coordination of the Cabinet . . . and I need to explain the situation clearly as soon as possible."
source : Japan Times


Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011 19:45 - NHK
Kan support rate falls to 16%
A recent NHK poll shows the support rate for Prime Minister Naoto Kan's Cabinet has dropped to 16 percent, the lowest since the Democratic Party took power 2 years ago.
Some 1,100 people responded to the survey, conducted last weekend.
The support rate for the Kan Cabinet fell by 9 percentage points from last month. The disapproval rate has risen 11 percentage points to 68 percent.
Forty-two percent of the respondents supporting the Kan Cabinet said it looks better than any other potential ruling bloc. Equally 42 percent of respondents not supporting the cabinet said it lacks the power to carry out policies.
Asked when Kan should step down as prime minister, 38 percent said he should do so immediately. Twenty-eight percent said they want him to step down by the end of August, when the current session of the Diet ends. Fourteen percent said between autumn and year-end, while 10 percent said next year or later.
Asked what should be done regarding the nation's nuclear power plants, 2 percent said more nuclear plants should be built. Twenty-five percent said they are in favor of the status-quo, while 42 percent said the number of plants should be reduced. Twenty-one percent said all nuclear power plants should be eliminated.
The approval rate for the Democratic Party stands at 13.6 percent, down nearly 7 percentage points from last month and the lowest since May 2007.
The approval rates for the other main political parties are as follows:
Liberal Democratic Party, 23.4 percent; New Komeito party, 3.4 percent; Your Party, 2.8 percent; Communist Party, 2.2 percent; Social Democratic Party, 1 percent; People's New Party, 0.1 percent. The rate of respondents not supporting any party was 46.2 percent, the highest since this type of poll began.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Survey: 70% of voters want Kan out by end of August
Seventy percent of voters want Prime Minister Naoto Kan to resign by the end of August while his Cabinet's approval rating slumped to 15 percent, an Asahi Shimbun survey showed.
The approval rating is the lowest since the Democratic Party of Japan took power in 2009, dipping below even the 17 percent recorded during the final days of the administration of Yukio Hatoyama, Kan's predecessor.
The telephone survey, conducted July 9-10, received valid responses from 1,920, or 58 percent, of 3,312 voters chosen randomly across the nation. The survey excluded voters living in parts of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures that were heavily damaged by the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake.
... Only 23 percent said Kan should remain in office until "September or later."


until today, see the daily reports for the news.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011 02:16 - NHK
Mabuchi: Grand coalition not easy
Japan's former land minister says it will not be easy to achieve the finance minister's goal of a grand coalition with the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party and its smaller ally the New Komeito.
Sumio Mabuchi spoke to reporters in the western city of Nara on Saturday. His comment came after his political rival, Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda, expressed his intention of seeking a grand coalition government if he is elected as the country's next leader.
Mabuchi is also expected to run as the next leader of the Democratic Party of Japan. The winner will automatically become the country's prime minister.
Mabuchi said the DPJ must consider every option for a future political framework, inclining a grand coalition with the 2 opposition parties.
But he said the DPJ must consider which option is more realistic, implying that the idea may not be easily achieved.
Grand coalition at issue for DPJ election
The upcoming presidential election of Japan's governing Democratic Party is likely to focus on whether to seek a grand coalition with opposition parties.
Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda and former land minister Sumio Mabuchi have expressed their intention to run in the election to succeed Prime Minister Naoto Kan. The name of agriculture minister Michihiko Kano is also being talked about.
On Saturday, Finance Minister Noda told reporters that he will seek a coalition with the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party and its smaller ally, New Komeito, to form a national salvation government.
Noda said a coalition will be needed to address many issues, including reconstruction from the March 11th disaster and ensuing nuclear accident.
Also on Saturday, former land minister Mabuchi told reporters that there's no need to deny opting for such a coalition and that he will keep all options open.
But he suggested he will adopt a realistic approach, taking into consideration the fact that the opposition Liberal Democrats are cautious about forming a coalition with the Democrats.
The members of the Democratic Party are divided over forming a grand coalition. Some say it is vital for smooth management of the divided Diet. Others say it is unacceptable because the party will have to dramatically review its election pledges.
Mabuchi also remarked on Noda's comment about a government-proposed temporary tax hike to finance reconstruction programs.
He said he doubts if the government can force the people to shoulder a huge increase in financial burdens as the economy could shrink following the March 11th disaster and the Fukushima accident.
He also warned that the finance minister should not consider the tax hike without careful consideration of timing.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

DPJ presidential election to be held in late Aug. - NHK
The Secretary General of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, Katsuya Okada, has indicated that he wants the DPJ presidential election to take place sometime between August 28th and 30th.
The DPJ executives met on Wednesday. They agreed to leave the decision on when to hold the party's presidential election up to Okada and Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who doubles as DPJ President.
The winner of the vote will almost certainly become next prime minister after elected by the Diet.
During the meeting, Okada said the passage of a bill to promote renewable energy, one of the 3 conditions cited by Kan for his resignation, is likely to happen on August 26th.
Okada added he hopes the Diet will elect the next prime minister during the current session which ends on August 31st.
Another party executive said the upcoming presidential race should be held only after sufficient time has been taken by the party to prepare as the winner will become the next prime minister.
So far, Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda and former land minister Sumio Mabuchi have announced their intentions to run in the election.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Candidate Kaieda eases on Ozawa
Trade minister Banri Kaieda announces his run for the DPJ presidency and prime minister, and hints he may lift the suspension on former party leader Ichiro Ozawa.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Reprieve for Ozawa won't fly: Okada
Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Katsuya Okada speaks out against lifting the ruling party's suspension of former leader Ichiro Ozawa.

Cabinet polls at new record low of 15.8%
The support rate for Prime Minister Naoto Kan's Cabinet tumbles to 15.8 percent -- the lowest since the tough-talking lawmaker took office last year.

Bureaucrats blame Kan for sapping their initiative


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kan: Cabinet will resign next Tuesday - NHK
Prime Minister Naoto Kan says that his Cabinet will resign en masse next Tuesday following the Democratic Party's leadership election, if the Diet enacts a bill on renewable energy as expected on Friday.
The bill is the last one of 3 conditions cited by Kan for his resignation.
At an informal Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Kan said he wants his ministers to be prepared because things will proceed as planned if there are no special changes in the political situation.
Kan said sooner or later, his Cabinet will be succeeded by the next, and there will be more than clerical affairs to tend to.
He also said that vice ministers and parliamentary secretaries of each ministry should hand over their duties from the viewpoint of managing and overseeing their offices.
The prime minister instructed the ministers to be prepared so that outstanding problems and affairs are properly handed over.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mr. Maehara enters DPJ race
Former Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara decided Tuesday evening to run for the Democratic Party of Japan presidential race to choose a successor to Prime Minister Naoto Kan. Mr. Maehara, sure to become a strong candidate, should present a clear future vision of Japan and a direction it will take because Japan is now steeped in a sense of helplessness.


Thursday, August 25, 2011
9 candidates to vie for DPJ presidency - NHK
Campaign staff of candidates in the ruling Democratic Party's leadership election have gathered at a party meeting to learn about election procedures.
The campaign for party president will be announced on Saturday after the Diet passes 2 key bills on Friday.
On Thursday, staff of 9 candidates including former Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara and Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda attended the meeting at party headquarters.
The chairman of the party's central election committee Issei Koga noted pending issues such as the March 11th disaster.
He said so he would like a proper election that revives the party and prevents the creation of a political vacuum.
398 party legislators with voting rights will cast their ballots for party president next Monday.
Separately, former Democratic Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama told followers that they need not necessarily choose from among those named.
He said the new administration must greatly change Japan's handling of the nuclear accident, and urged them to find the most appropriate person to do so.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Kan announces stepping down as PM
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan says he is stepping down as ruling Democratic Party President on Friday. He will also resign as Prime Minister soon.
He made the announcement at a meeting of Democratic Party lawmakers on Friday.
Kan said at the meeting that he is stepping down now that 3 key bills have been enacted. Earlier in the day, a bill authorizing the government to issue deficit-covering bonds and another promoting renewable energy passed the Diet. The 3rd key bill, a supplementary budget for this fiscal year, has already been enacted.
Kan said he will also step down as Prime Minister and have his Cabinet resign en masse once his successor as party President is elected.
Kan said he's done everything he should have done and promised to keep working hard, both as a politician and a member of Japanese society. He wants to help Japan recover from the effects of the massive quake, tsunami and nuclear disaster and to end the country's dependence on nuclear energy.
He also expressed hope that the Democratic Party will enact reforms to win public trust, ensure free debate and unite to support policy decisions.
The Democratic Party decided to hold its Presidential election on Monday, with campaigning to begin on Saturday.

Saturday, August 27, 2011 07:51
5 candidates run for Democratic Party presidency
Five candidates are running for the presidency of Democratic Party of Japan to succeed Prime Minister Naoto Kan.
At a meeting of Democratic Party legislators on Friday, Kan announced he was stepping down following the passage of 3 key bills in the Diet.
The party will accept the candidates' official registrations on Saturday before holding an election to select the new leader on Monday. The winner is certain to become the next prime minister, as the party holds a majority in the House of Representatives.
Former Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara announced his candidacy on Tuesday. The others followed on Friday.
The 4 are Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda; Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Michihiko Kano; former land and transport minister Sumio Mabuchi; and Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda.
The 5 candidates are to hold a debate at the National Press Club in Tokyo on Saturday.
Public opinion polls show Maehara in the lead. But Kaieda is backed by former Democratic Party leader Ichiro Ozawa, who heads the party's largest faction, and by former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama. Kaieda belongs to Hatoyama's faction.
Maehara has defended the party's decision to suspend Ozawa over a political funding scandal.
Noda is seeking support from all factions by emphasizing the need for fiscal reconstruction.
Kano is calling for the party to unite by putting an end to the rivalry between supporters and opponents of Ozawa.
Monday's vote will involve balloting by 398 Diet members belonging to the party. The party has suspended the membership of 9 other legislators.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Kan bows out, says he did best he could
Prime Minister Naoto Kan officially announces he will resign after 15 turbulent months in office during which the nation experienced its greatest postwar disaster and one of the world's worst nuclear crises.

Ozawa looks to back Kaieda out of field of five
Democratic Party of Japan kingpin Ichiro Ozawa plans to back industry minister Banri Kaieda out of the five candidates who have announced they will run in the party's presidential election.

Five face off over policies ahead of poll


Monday, August 29, 2011

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . result of the election

. Noda Yoshihiko  野田佳彦 .

Monday, August 29, 2011
Noda elected new DPJ president
Japan's main governing party, the Democratic Party, has elected Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda as its new leader.
He is almost certain to become the next prime minister.
The Democratic Party held a leadership election on Monday with 5 candidates running for the top post.
None of them won a majority in the first round. Economy minister Banri Kaieda and Noda advanced to a runoff.
Of the 395 votes from lawmakers, Noda secured 215 while Kaieda garnered 177.
Following his victory, Noda said he will bear the responsibility of leading the party, and he asked the lawmakers for support.
He also said he feels bonds with the other candidates and wants to leave their election fight behind. He added that he is deeply attached to his party and expressed his resolve to unite its members.
Noda will succeed Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who has expressed his intention to step down as the leader of the party and the head of the government.
The cabinet is expected to resign en masse in the next couple of days and the Diet will elect a new prime minister.
Noda, who is also the Finance Minister, held a news conference on Monday shortly after he won the Party leadership election.
He said he wants to speed up reconstruction efforts in areas hit by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. He added that he will listen to various opinions and wants to visit disaster-hit areas soon.
On a possible tax increase to finance reconstruction projects, Noda said he wants to wait for the government tax panel to present multiple options to the new party leadership.
He ruled out the possibility of calling a snap general election. He said Japan cannot afford a political Vacuum and people should work together to help reconstruct northeastern Japan.

Monday, August 29, 2011 20:07 - NHK
Ozawa cautious about cooperation with Noda
Former Democratic Party leader Ichiro Ozawa says he will wait and see before deciding whether to cooperate with newly elected party leader Yoshihiko Noda.
Ozawa was speaking at a meeting of about 100 in-group lawmakers, following Monday's party presidential election.
Ozawa said he hopes Noda will be successful as prime minister and that he wants to support him but that depends on who Noda appoints as party executives.
He said that he will have to find out whether the party unity that Noda is calling for are just words.
The lawmakers who attended the group meeting on Monday included former prime minister Yukio Hatoyama and economy minister Banri Kaieda, who was supported by the Ozawa group in the election but finished second.

Monday, August 29, 2011 19:04
Fukushima evacuees' response to Noda
Residents of Iitate Village near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have asked newly elected Democratic Party head Yoshihiko Noda to step up the rebuilding of their community.
Almost all of the villagers had to evacuate after the accident at the nuclear plant.
A 43-year-old woman who fled to Fukushima city says she doesn't want Noda to forget his responsibility of restoring the lives of the evacuees. She said she wants him to visit Fukushima to learn what the people there truly need, and to work to pave the way for reconstruction.
A 56-year-old woman said she wants the new government to decontaminate her village so she can return home. But she said she has little hope the new leadership will make a difference, as Japan's prime ministers change all the time.

Monday, August 29, 2011 19:04
Overseas reaction on Noda
The US government will likely keep a close watch on Yoshihiko Noda to determine his political skills.
A US State Department official has told NHK that the United States will continue to work with the new prime minister to tackle a wide range of issues, include helping the restoration process in regions devastated by the March disaster.
The fierce tug of war involving the ruling and opposition parties over Kan's resignation in recent months has prompted concern among US officials that Japanese politics may be becoming dysfunctional.
The White House is scheduling brief talks between US President Barack Obama and Noda when he visits New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly meeting in late September.
In China, state-run Central Television provided live coverage of Monday's leadership election. The broadcaster called Noda "a dark horse," as he is less known in China than some of the other contenders.
The online version of the Communist Party's official newspaper, the People's Daily, says Noda is conservative and takes a hard-line position towards China. It cites his remarks regarding Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo that honors Japan's top war criminals and the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea claimed by China.
An NHK correspondent says China will closely monitor Noda's foreign policy, as bilateral relations have become strained over the islands and other issues.
South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that Noda's past remarks and actions have raise concern that the biggest dispute between Japan and South Korea --- over territorial rights in the Sea of Japan --- may escalate.
But Yonhap also quoted a South Korean government official as expressing hope that Noda will recognize the importance of ties between the 2 countries.
Russia's state-run television has reported that newly elected Democratic Party leader Yoshihiko Noda will face a tougher task as prime minister.
It says Noda will have to shoulder a heavy burden, including addressing the ongoing nuclear reactor accidents, ballooning government debt and a deteriorating economy.
Referring to Noda as the sixth prime minister in the past five years, the Russian TV station said Japan's political scene will remain unstable because there are few politicians who can control all the factions.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011 12:21
Kan issues statement upon resignation
Kan issued a statement when he resigned on Tuesday, expressing hope for Japan's revival under his successor.
The statement said Kan's government had compiled an integrated plan to reform taxes and social security, and that he hopes the ruling and opposition parties will debate and press ahead with the reforms.
Kan also apologized that his cabinet could not respond satisfactorily to the March 11th disaster and nuclear accident. He said he and his ministers gave their very best and worked in all sincerity, but it is up to future generations to judge their performance.
Kan said he earnestly hopes that Japan will revive powerfully under the incoming cabinet.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011 14:22
Noda elected PM by both houses of Diet
The new leader of the main governing Democratic Party, Yoshihiko Noda, has been elected Japan's 95th Prime Minister in both houses of the Diet.
The Lower and Upper Houses of the Diet voted to elect Noda on Tuesday afternoon. Noda was chosen as the new DPJ leader on Monday.
He succeeds Naoto Kan, who resigned earlier in the day.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011 16:42
Okada calls on Noda to serve for at least 2 years
A top official of Japan's governing Democratic Party says he is sorry to see the 3rd prime minister since his party came to power 2 years ago.
DPJ Secretary General Katsuya Okada told NHK on Tuesday that a 4-year term in the lower house of the Diet should be served under one national leader. He called on the new prime minister, Yoshihiko Noda, to stay in office for the remaining 2 years.
Okada said his party should respect its agreement with the opposition Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, and consult with coalition partner People's New Party on various issues to obtain their cooperation in running the Diet.
He called on the parties to govern the country for the people, instead of indulging in party politics, and to cooperate in doing what is needed for Japan.
He also urged DPJ members to put past differences aside and unite under the chosen leader.

Auto association wants Noda to correct yen rise
The chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association says he wants the incoming prime minister to exercise strong leadership in reviving Japan's economy and stabilizing the lives of the country's people.

Noda appoints Koshiishi as DPJ Secretary General
Newly elected Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has offered a key post in his governing Democratic Party to a person close to the party's heavyweight, Ichiro Ozawa, in an effort to unite the divided party.
... Koshiishi is known for his close cooperation with former party leader Ozawa and former prime minister Yukio Hatoyama.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011 23:20
Noda says he will seek party approval for policies
Newly elected Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda says his government will seek approval from the policy chief of the governing Democratic Party before making important decisions.
Noda told reporters on Tuesday that he agreed on the principle with the new Chairman of the party's Policy Research Committee, Seiji Maehara.
The move is apparently designed to reflect criticism over a series of surprise announcements of important policies made by his predecessor, Naoto Kan, without the prior consensus of the ruling party. Kan often caused confusion as to whether his sudden remarks were his own or those of the ruling party. Referring to the nomination of Azuma Koshiishi as the party secretary general, the prime minister said he believes Koshiishi can assert leadership to unite party members of both houses of the Diet.
Noda added that he believes his nomination of new party executives will bring about party unity and will benefit the public.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 18:38 - NHK
DPJ lawmakers endorse new leadership
Lawmakers of Japan's governing Democratic Party have approved their new leadership under new Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.
At a meeting with lawmakers on Wednesday, Noda said the party needs leaders who will allow each member to exert their full potential. He added that he selected personnel for the posts based on their ability to win consensus and handle issues in a strategic way.
The lawmakers then endorsed the appointment of the party's Upper House leader, Azuma Koshiishi, as Secretary General; former Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara as chairperson of the Policy Research Committee; and former Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano as head of the Diet Affairs Committee.
Koshiishi vowed to do his best to meet expectations that the party should be united.
Maehara said he wants to listen carefully to the opinions of all party lawmakers in policy discussions.

. . . .. Japan Times . . . . .

Noda takes over, starts key selections

Yoshihiko Noda becomes the nation's 62nd prime minister and faces the task of leading the recovery from the March disaster.

Public looks to Noda to provide stability

Noda a grappler, wears many hats !!!

Days of Ozawa's influence seen dwindling

Leading a nation in crisis

. . . .. Japan Times . . . September 01 ..

Noda's key first task: filling Edano's shoes
One of Prime Minister-elect Yoshihiko Noda's main tasks will be picking a right-hand man to fill the shoes of departing Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano.

Noda hoping to hold talks with Obama soon

Noda taps Osamu Fujimura 藤村修 to be right-hand man
Newly appointed executives of the Democratic Party of Japan promise the leading opposition parties that they will uphold agreements to give up or scale back some of the key pledges the DPJ made before taking power, including the monthly child allowances.

Noda, likening himself to loach fish,
says charisma isn't everything
Japan’s next prime minister admits he is no Mr Charisma—Yoshihiko Noda likens himself to a marine bottom-feeder rather than a glittering goldfish. But that, he says, is his appeal.
source : www.japantoday.com
dojoo 鰌 is not such a bad image in Japan.

. WKD : Loach (dojoo 泥鰌)

Friday, September 02, 2011 11:41
Noda Cabinet lineup announced
The Cabinet lineup of Japan's new Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has been announced.
Osamu Fujimura, Noda's close aide and the new Chief Cabinet Secretary, read out a list of the new ministers on Friday morning.
National Policy Minister Koichiro Gemba will become the foreign minister, and the ruling Democratic Party's former Diet affairs chief, Jun Azumi, the finance minister.
Post-disaster reconstruction minister Tatsuo Hirano and nuclear crisis minister Goshi Hosono will retain their posts. Hosono will also serve as the environment minister.
Vice health and welfare minister Yoko Komiyama will become the health and welfare minister. Agriculture minister Michihiko Kano will retain his post. The Democratic Party's former Diet affairs chief, Yoshio Hachiro, will serve as the trade and industry minister.
Upper House member Yasuo Ichikawa has been appointed defense minister, and Democratic Party Vice President Kenji Yamaoka is the new minister for the abduction issue. Upper House member Renho will be the minister in charge of government revitalization and civil service reform.
Shozaburo Jimi from the junior coalition People's New Party will retain his position of postal reform and financial services minister.
The Cabinet will get its official start after Noda and the ministers are sworn in by the Emperor at the Imperial Palace later on Friday.

Will this new cabinet end the political crisis and bring faster reconstruction to Tohoku?

Friday, September 02, 2011 16:08 -NHK
Opposition criticizes Noda Cabinet lineup
Opposition parties are critical of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's Cabinet lineup.
Liberal Democratic Party Vice President Tadamori Oshima said Noda chose the lineup with an inward-looking mindset for the sole purpose of balancing the powers of party factions.
He said the Liberal Democrats have no interest in forming a "grand coalition" with such a weak cabinet.
Oshima also said that Noda, who was the finance minister in the previous cabinet, must have a consumption tax increase on his mind. He said that if this is the case, Noda should seek a public mandate by putting the tax increase at the center of the policy platform of the governing Democratic Party.
The leader of the opposition New Komeito party, Natsuo Yamaguchi, said Noda's cabinet gives the impression of party unity, but is actually an assortment of conflicting players put together rather forcibly.
Yamaguchi said the cabinet does appear to be steady, but he's not sure that it will be able to take quick and appropriate action.
He said his party will closely watch the Noda administration to see if it can tackle key domestic and diplomatic challenges in a satisfactory manner.

Friday, September 02, 2011 18:07 - NHK
Fukushima residents want new cabinet to work hard
People in Fukushima Prefecture, site of the ongoing nuclear plant accident, have expressed hope that Japan's new cabinet will be aware of their needs.
The mayor of Futaba Town, located within the 20-kilometer no-entry zone around the crippled plant, said he wants the cabinet to first deal with compensation for people affected by the accident.
Speaking in Saitama, the prefecture north of Tokyo where the town's office has been relocated, Katsutaka Idogawa urged the cabinet to do its best for an early recovery of Fukushima and the rest of Japan.
In Fukushima City, the prefectural capital, a man in his 40s welcomed the reappointment of Goshi Hosono as minister in charge of the nuclear crisis. The man said he can expect continuity in tackling a difficult issue.
A woman in her 20s said she wants the new ministers to see the disaster area with their own eyes and respond to local needs.
Residents being forced to live in temporary housing said they want the government to quickly contain the accident so that they can return to their homes.

Friday, September 02, 2011 20:09
Noda vows to speed up reconstruction efforts
Japan's new Prime Minister, Yoshihiko Noda, says he will speed up recovery from the March 11th earthquake and tsunami and work to contain the nuclear accident in Fukushima as his top priorities.
Speaking to reporters after he launched his Cabinet on Friday, Noda also pledged to rebuild the economy and tackle Japan's fiscal crisis.
Noda said restoration and reconstruction following the disasters remain top priority. He said the previous Cabinet did its best in the effort but that it was accused of not doing enough to build temporary housing, clean up debris and support survivors. He said his Cabinet's biggest mission will be to speed up restoration and reconstruction.
Noda also referred to the contamination of wide areas by nuclear fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. He said the government will lead the decontamination effort beyond the barriers of government ministries and agencies. He said the government will do all it can to ensure the safety of pregnant women and children. He said there will be no revival of Japan without the revival of Fukushima.
The new Prime Minister said he will rebuild the economy, despite the limitation of energy supplies, by preventing the historic rise of the yen against the dollar from causing a hollowing out of Japan's industry.
He said he will tackle the fiscal crisis Japan already faced before the March 11th disasters and take every possible measure to avoid a credit crisis. While stressing the urgent need to restore fiscal health, Noda said he is not a fiscal fundamentalist and that he wants to take a realistic approach.
He promised to strike a balance between economic growth and fiscal reconstruction.
Noda said the government will promote administrative reforms to achieve a thorough cut in wasteful spending.
He also said he must execute the previous government's plans to double the consumption tax rate from the current 5 percent by the mid 2010s to fund ballooning social security costs.

Business leaders express hope for new Cabinet
Leaders of Japan's major business organizations have responded favorably to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's new cabinet.
The chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, Yasuchika Hasegawa, welcomed the lineup, saying it was created out of consideration for unity within the ruling Democratic Party and steady implementation of policies.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Defense chief calls himself an amateur

New Defense Minister Yasuo Ichikawa called himself an "amateur" regarding security issues, but excused his lack of expertise by saying that's what the concept of civilian control of the military is all about.

Noda Cabinet support rate at 63%
The initial support rate for the Cabinet of new Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda stands at 62.8 percent, a poll showed Saturday, suggesting the public is optimistic the fresh administration will reunite the Democratic Party of Japan.


Saturday, September 10, 201
Hachiro resigns

Japan's Economy, Trade, and Industry Minister has tendered his resignation to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. The Prime Minister accepted it.
Yoshio Hachiro 鉢呂吉雄 abruptly resigned after making an inappropriate remark about radiation on Thursday.
Following a visit to the areas around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Hachiro joked to reporters that he had been infected with radioactivity.
He also described the area as a ghost town.
He later apologized saying he had used a wrong expression that could cause misunderstanding.
The Noda Cabinet was inaugurated only 8 days ago, on September 2nd.
Tatsuo Hirano, a ruling Democratic Party member and the minister in charge of the reconstruction in northeastern Japan, told reporters that the resignation is regrettable as the Noda Cabinet has just begun to engage in rebuilding the area and dealing with the Fukushima accident.
Asked about the Prime Minister's responsibility for Hachiro's appointment, he said there may be such an assertion but the Cabinet must concentrate on resolving existing problems.
The vice president of the largest opposition Liberal Democratic Party, Tadamori Oshima, told NHK that the Prime Minister needs to take responsibility for the appointment and that his party will demand an explanation from the ruling party in the Diet's Budget Committee.
He also said the problem occurred because the Prime Minister had failed to appoint the proper person for the position. He said such an appointment based on the DPJ's internal factions is, and will be, doomed to fail.
He added that the people have lost trust in the Cabinet and its efforts to resolve the Fukushima crisis.

Monday, September 12, 2011
Noda picks Edano as new trade minister
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda picked former chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano as the country's new Economy, Trade and Industry Minister on Monday.
On Saturday, the trade minister, Yoshio Hachiro, resigned from his post for making inappropriate remarks about radiation contamination in Fukushima Prefecture. This came only 8 days after Noda launched his Cabinet.
... While serving as Chief Cabinet Secretary since January, Edano led the government's efforts to cope with the Fukushima nuclear accident.


Monday, October 03, 2011
Kan resumes pilgrimage in Shikoku
Former prime minister Naoto Kan has resumed his pilgrimage to 88 Buddhist temples on the southwestern island of Shikoku.
Kan had visited 53 of the 88 temples on the circuit before becoming prime minster in June 2010.
About one month after stepping down as the nation's leader, he restarted the pilgrimage that he began in 2004. On Monday, wearing a white pilgrim costume and a straw hat, he visited the 56th spot on the traditional route, Taisanji temple in Imabari City, and other temples.

He was seen chatting with local residents and posing for photos with other pilgrims after reciting sutras at the temple.
Kan told reporters that he finally has an opportunity to complete the pilgrimage, and that he prayed for recovery from the nuclear crisis caused by the March disaster.
He said he will stay in Shikoku until Sunday to continue on the joiurney.
The 88 Temple Pilgrimage is a 1,200 kilometer-long religious trek around the island of Shikoku. The temples are associated with an eighth century Buddhist monk and scholar, Kukai, better known as Kobo Daishi.

. Shikokul Henro - my Information .


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Junior lawmakers threaten to quit DPJ

Three junior lawmakers are set to quit Japan's main governing Democratic Party to protest the government's plan to raise the nation's consumption tax.
The 3 Lower House members met on Monday night with former Democrat Kenko Matsuki, who deserted the party early this year.
They assert that the planned tax increase would violate an election pledge the party made 2 years ago when it came into power.
The 3 lawmakers are planning to tender their resignations as early as Wednesday, with an eye to forming a new party with Matsuki. They are urging other junior Democrats to join in, so that the new party can start with about 10 members.
The 3 lawmakers and Matsuki are all close to former Democratic Party president Ichiro Ozawa -- regarded as a key behind-the-scenes power broker.
Ozawa is also opposed to the plan by prime minister and party president Yoshihiko Noda to raise the consumption tax to finance ballooning social security costs.
Noda faced a different revolt last Saturday, when a Lower House member said he will leave the party to protest the government's plan to resume construction of a dam in his election district.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

9 junior lawmakers to quit Democratic Party
Nine junior lawmakers have submitted their resignations to Japan's main governing Democratic Party to protest the government's plan to raise the nation's consumption tax.
The 9 Lower House members handed in their resignations on Wednesday morning to the party's acting secretary general.
They said the planned tax increase by the administration of prime minister and party president Yoshihiko Noda violates an election pledge the party made 2 years ago when it came to power.
The party executives say they will not immediately accept their resignations and will try to persuade them to stay in the party.
The 9 lawmakers say they will not change their minds. They add they will form a new party early in 2012 to realize the election pledge made by the DPJ.
Eight out of the 9 are close to former Democratic Party president Ichiro Ozawa -- regarded as a key behind-the-scenes power broker. The other one is close to former prime minister Yukio Hatoyama.
Noda faced a different revolt last Saturday, when a Lower House member left the party to protest the government's plan to resume construction of a dam in his election district.

Lawmakers offer explanations for quitting DPJ
Nine members of Japan's lower house of parliament who quit the governing Democratic Party say they will launch a new party early next year.
The lawmakers held a news conference on Wednesday, hours after submitting their resignation in protest against the government's plan to raise the consumption tax.
Speaking on behalf of the 9, Akira Uchiyama criticized the tax hike, saying the party won public support by promising not to raise the tax for 4 years.
He also criticized the government for scrapping its earlier decision to halt the construction of Yamba Dam as an unnecessary public works project.
Uchiyama said the 9 lawmakers will announce the new party's name and organization by January 1st, and that the party will try and help the DPJ reform itself.
He added that all the lawmakers will run for office from single-seat constituencies in the next Lower House election.
Uchiyama also said he has not received any advice from DPJ heavyweight and former party leader Ichiro Ozawa, but he believes Ozawa understands his intention to quit the party.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

DPJ members bolt party over Noda tax plan
Nine Democratic Party of Japan lawmakers resign in protest of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's policies after a plan is raised to hike the consumption tax.

DPJ panel wrestles with tax hike plan
Executive members of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan's tax panel propose a plan to double the sales tax by 2015, sparking a revolt.


Thursday, February 09, 2012

More than 1,000 apply for Hashimoto cram school
A cram school for aspiring politicians to be opened next month by Japan's rising political star Toru Hashimoto has drawn more than 1,000 applicants nationwide.
The Osaka City mayor, who heads the One Osaka Party, plans to open the school next month with an eye on Japan's next general elections. He's seeking 400 students aged 25 and above.
Applicants include former lawmakers, incumbent local assembly members, bureaucrats, lawyers and housewives. Entrants will be selected through interviews and examination of their application forms.
Hashimoto's school will aim to train candidates for the next general election, and to draw up policies for his party's debut in national politics.
Hashimoto is a lawyer who became a popular TV personality.
He was chosen as Osaka governor in 2008 at the age of 38, becoming the youngest prefectural governor in Japan at the time.
Last April, Hashimoto's party won a majority of seats in the prefectural assembly, and became the number one party in the Osaka municipal assembly. He himself was elected the city's mayor in November.
Hashimoto has made no secret of his desire to enter national politics. Lawmakers in Tokyo are wary of his outspoken style, which has made him popular among voters.


May 2011 till June 5, 2011
. The Political Situation - PART 1 .

June 2011
. The Political Situation - PART 2 .

DIARY - daily reports


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