Raw Japan

Slices of Japanese business, politics and life

Desperate times, desperate measures?

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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-POLITICS/

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