Chief Correspondent, Political and General News
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Sep 16, 2011

Analysis: Japan’s PM Noda: warm to Washington, wary of China

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is turning his back on his Democratic Party’s early effort to recast Tokyo’s U.S.-centered diplomacy and embrace Asia more closely, instead putting the U.S. alliance back at the core of security policy.

But Noda, who says his paratrooper father’s military career influenced his views on security, faces serious challenges to keeping ties with both close ally Washington and rising rival Beijing on an even keel.

Sep 12, 2011

Not all ministerial gaffes are equal in Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) – Cabinet ministers making verbal blunders are nothing new in Japan, where media savvy politicians are the exception rather than the rule, but the price they pay depends on how vulnerable the government is at the time and who they offend.

Trade Minister Yoshio Hachiro resigned at the weekend after media reports that he had joked with journalists about radiation from the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

Sep 10, 2011

Japan’s new PM suffers early blow as minister quits

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s new government suffered a blow on Saturday after just eight days in office when the trade minister resigned over gaffes on the sensitive topic of radiation from the tsunami-hit Fukushima plant.

The resignation of Trade Minister Yoshio Hachiro, who handles the energy portfolio, will give opposition parties ammunition for attack as Noda strives to end the radiation crisis at the Fukushima plant while tackling a plethora of challenges from rebuilding after the March earthquake and tsunami to curbing huge public debt.

Sep 9, 2011

New Japan PM a bureaucrats’ puppet or puppet master?

TOKYO (Reuters) – New Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is moving to repair the government’s battered relations with bureaucrats in hopes of mobilising their expertise, but some worry his government will end up as puppet rather than puppet master.

Noda took office last week as Japan’s sixth premier in five years and the third since his Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) took power in 2009 pledging to change how the country is run.

Sep 9, 2011

Analysis: New Japan PM a bureaucrats’ puppet or puppet master?

TOKYO (Reuters) – New Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is moving to repair the government’s battered relations with bureaucrats in hopes of mobilizing their expertise, but some worry his government will end up as puppet rather than puppet master.

Noda took office last week as Japan’s sixth premier in five years and the third since his Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) took power in 2009 pledging to change how the country is run.

Sep 1, 2011

Analysis: Japan’s DPJ picks up reviled habits of party it ousted

TOKYO (Reuters) – Two years after the Democratic Party swept to power pledging to reform how Japan is governed, the struggling ruling party appears to be reviving the very practices it reviled.

That poses a challenge for new Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who — if he lasts long enough to face a general election — could have trouble convincing voters to back a party that no longer looks much different from the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) that it trounced decisively in 2009.

Aug 30, 2011

Japan elects new PM, may be ruling party’s last chance

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s parliament voted in a new prime minister on Tuesday, perhaps the last, best chance for the ruling Democratic Party to begin pulling the country out of decades of stagnation.

Yoshihiko Noda, a 54-year-old former finance minister who wants to curb Japan’s huge public debt, becomes the country’s sixth prime minister in five years.

Aug 30, 2011

New Japan PM Noda faces party feud, split parliament

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda is to be voted in on Tuesday as the country’s sixth prime minister in five years amid doubts he can unite his fractious ruling party while tackling myriad economic ills and a nuclear crisis.

Noda, a 54-year-old fiscal hawk who wants to curb Japan’s huge public debt, was elected head of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) in a bruising run-off. He had come in second among five candidates in an inconclusive initial round.

Aug 29, 2011

Japan’s finance minister to be new PM; may not last long

TOKYO (Reuters) – Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda was chosen on Monday to become Japan’s sixth prime minister in five years, but needs to overcome a divided parliament and deep rifts in the ruling party if he is to make more of a mark than his recent predecessors.

Noda appears to be a safe pair of hands to lead the world’s third-biggest economy but there are serious doubts whether he will have sufficient support to tackle Japan’s myriad economic woes, lift it out of decades of stagnation and cope with a nuclear crisis.

Aug 29, 2011

Japan’s Finance Minister Noda to be new PM

TOKYO (Reuters) – Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda was chosen on Monday to become Japan’s sixth prime minister in five years, but has to overcome a divided parliament and deep rifts in the ruling party if he is to make more of a mark than his predecessors.

Noda is considered a safe pair of hands to lead the world’s third-biggest economy but doubts run deep as to whether he will have sufficient support and stay in office long enough to tackle a long list of economic woes and cope with a nuclear crisis.

    • About Linda

      "I direct a team of reporters responsible for covering politics, diplomacy, social and security policies in the world's second-biggest economy, as well as natural disasters, entertainment and lifestyle trends. I have been in my current position since April 1999 and prior to that was Chief Economics Correspondent, Japan."
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