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Jan 14, 2011

Japan PM changes cabinet but rough road ahead

TOKYO, Jan 14 (Reuters) – Japan’s prime minister appointed a
fiscal hawk to a key post and replaced his deputy in a cabinet
revamp on Friday to cope with a divided parliament and tackle
reforms to rein in public debt, but hurdles to success are high.

Drafting Kaoru Yosano, an advocate of raising the 5 percent
sales tax, as economics minister signals Prime Minister Naoto Kan
is serious about reforms needed to fund bulging social welfare
costs and rein in the huge public debt, as well as about trade
liberalisation sought by business but opposed by farm lobbies.

Jan 13, 2011

Japan PM to tap fiscal hawk in new line-up-media

TOKYO, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Japan’s prime minister will give a
fiscal hawk a key post when he revamps his cabinet on Friday,
media reported, a move probably intended to show he is serious
about tax reforms to rein in the country’s huge public debt.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan will appoint former administrative
reform minister Yukio Edano as his de facto deputy and draft
ex-finance minister Kaoru Yosano, a fiscal conservative, for a
government post, Japanese media reported one day ahead of the
reshuffle.

Jan 13, 2011

Japan PM to tap fiscal hawk Yosano for cabinet – report

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan will appoint former administrative reform minister Yukio Edano as his de facto deputy and give ex-finance minister Kaoru Yosano, a fiscal hawk, a key post when he reshuffles his cabinet this week, domestic media reported.

Analysts said the appointments, in particular of the 72-year-old Yosano, appeared aimed at sending a message that Kan was serious about tax and other reforms needed to rein in Japan’s huge public debt, now twice the size of its $5 trillion (£3.2 trillion) economy.

Jan 13, 2011

Japan PM to tap fiscal hawk Yosano in new cabinet: report

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan will appoint former administrative reform minister Yukio Edano as his de facto deputy and give ex-finance minister Kaoru Yosano, a fiscal hawk, a key post when he reshuffles his cabinet this week, domestic media reported.

Analysts said the appointments, in particular of the 72-year-old Yosano, appeared aimed at sending a message that Kan was serious about tax and other reforms needed to rein in Japan’s huge public debt, now twice the size of its $5 trillion economy.

Dec 27, 2010

Japan ruling party presses powerbroker, risks split

TOKYO (Reuters) – Senior executives of Japan’s ruling Democratic Party agreed on Monday that a parliamentary ethics panel should be convened to summon powerbroker Ichiro Ozawa over a funding scandal, threatening to widen a rift in the party.

The bickering is distracting the government from addressing tough policy decisions and complicating prospects for passing laws, including bills needed to implement the budget for the fiscal year from April 1, approved by the cabinet on Friday.

Dec 7, 2010

Q+A-What are Japan PM’s woes and how can he fix them?

TOKYO, Dec 7 (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan,
in office for six months, is struggling to steer the economy as
his support ratings slide and opposition parties ratchet up an
offensive to stall policies in a divided parliament.

His biggest challenge in the coming months will be to compile
and secure passage of the budget for the fiscal year starting next
April. The economy’s recovery is fragile but the government is
under pressure to limit spending to cap a public debt that is
twice the size of Japan’s $5 trillion economy.
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Graphic on Japan voter support: r.reuters.com/myv63g
For more stories on Japanese politics: [ID:nPOLJP]
Analysis on Japan political risk: [ID:nRISKJP]
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Dec 6, 2010

Japan PM courts former ally to pass budget

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan agreed on Monday to consult a small former coalition partner on next year’s budget in a bid to smooth its enactment in a divided parliament, but the party set a high hurdle for cooperation.

Kan also repeated his government’s stance to stick to a 44 trillion yen ($533 billion) cap on new bond issuance and a 71 trillion yen spending target in the budget, which it aims to compile by December 24 so it can submit related bills to the parliament in January.

Nov 26, 2010

Japan to pass extra budget,focus shifts to next FY

TOKYO, Nov 26 (Reuters) – Japan is set to pass an extra
budget on Friday, paving the way for officials to begin compiling
next fiscal year’s budget amid pressure to delay spending cuts
needed to soothe bond investors.

The extra budget, which expands the social safety net and
brings forward public works, will have a small economic impact
partly because the government limited spending to avoid selling
debt.

Nov 22, 2010

Japan minister quits, but hurdles remain for PM Kan

TOKYO, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Japan’s justice minister
resigned on Monday in an effort to avoid a gaffe delaying the
enactment of an extra budget through a divided parliament, but
hurdles remain for struggling Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

The latest woe to hit Kan’s government, remarks by Minoru
Yanagida that critics said made light of parliamentary
deliberations, had threatened to delay a 4.4 trillion yen
($52.7 billion) extra budget to bolster an economy beset by
deflation and a strong yen.

Nov 14, 2010

APEC affirms free trade, Hu warns of protectionism

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) – Asia-Pacific leaders agreed to start establishing a free trade area in the world’s fastest growing region with China warning that global economic recovery was far from certain and protectionism was rising.

The weekend summit followed hot on the heels of a meeting of leaders of G20 advanced and emerging countries whose vague agreement gave little sense of a united approach to preventing further economic crises.

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