Slices of Japanese business, politics and life
With Prime Minister Taro Aso’s public support tanking ahead of a tough election this year, some lawmakers in Japan’s conservative ruling party — long dominated by dark-suited men — are pondering the once unthinkable — replacing a him with a her.
Opinion polls show voter support for Aso, Japan’s third prime minister in less than two years, near or even below 10 percent, and a hefty majority want him to resign within months.
Even more worrisome for the Liberal Democrats, surveys suggest that voters fed up with the party and worried it may have run out of ideas to fix the recession-hit economy are increasingly likely to give the opposition Democratic Party a turn in power in an election that must be held by October.
Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano, who holds two other key cabinet posts too, is a leading candidate to replace Aso, 68, if the ruling party pushes the premier out, but two women are also on the list floated by media and lawmakers of possible rivals.
Japan’s finance minister, Kaoru Yosano, already has three key cabinet posts. Now some pundits say he looks well-placed to take the top job, too.
Public support for Prime Minister Taro Aso, suffering a slump after policy flip-flops and gaffes, took another hit when close ally Shoichi Nakagawa quit as finance minister last week after being forced to deny he was drunk at at G7 gathering in Rome.