Chief Correspondent, Political and General News
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Aug 24, 2011

Japan PM contender Maehara looks to powerbroker Ozawa

TOKYO (Reuters) – Former foreign minister Seiji Maehara, a leading candidate to be Japan’s latest premier, on Wednesday called on powerbroker Ichiro Ozawa, the latest sign that the scandal-tainted party heavyweight could hold the key to the leadership race.

Japan is set to select its sixth prime minister in five years in a party leadership race on Monday as it struggles to rebuild after a devastating tsunami, end a nuclear crisis at a crippled power plant, cope with a rising yen and curb massive public debt while the bulging costs of an aging society.

Aug 23, 2011

Next Japan PM: bold leadership a long shot

TOKYO (Reuters) – Who will become Japan’s sixth premier in five years is anyone’s guess, but one bet looks safe: he’s unlikely to provide the bold leadership that voters and investors in the troubled economy crave.

Factors ranging from an education system that rewards conformity to a political arena where personal ties matter more than ideas make improbable the emergence of a charismatic leader like Junichiro Koizumi, who swept to power in 2001 promising reform and served a rare five-year term before stepping down.

Aug 23, 2011

Analysis: Next Japan PM: bold leadership a long shot

TOKYO (Reuters) – Who will become Japan’s sixth premier in five years is anyone’s guess, but one bet looks safe: he’s unlikely to provide the bold leadership that voters and investors in the troubled economy crave.

Factors ranging from an education system that rewards conformity to a political arena where personal ties matter more than ideas make improbable the emergence of a charismatic leader like Junichiro Koizumi, who swept to power in 2001 promising reform and served a rare five-year term before stepping down.

Aug 22, 2011

Japan’s Maehara “thinking of running for PM”

TOKYO (Reuters) – Former Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara, who has called beating deflation a top priority, is likely to throw his hat in the ring to become the next prime minister, Jiji news agency said on Monday, clouding the chances of Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who had hoped to win Maehara’s support.

Unpopular Prime Minister Naoto Kan is expected this week to confirm his intention to resign, clearing the way for Japan to select its sixth prime minister since Junichiro Koizumi ended a rare five-year term in 2006.

Aug 17, 2011

Next Japan PM won’t last long: Reuters poll

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda, a fiscal conservative, is financial markets’ preferred choice among candidates to succeed unpopular Prime Minister Naoto Kan, but whoever takes over is unlikely to last more than a year in the job, a Reuters poll showed.

Kan, who took office in June 2010 as Japan’s fifth premier in as many years, has signaled that he will step down once parliament enacts key legislation, including a bill to allow the government to borrow more to fund this year’s budget.

Aug 17, 2011

Next Japan PM won’t last long – Reuters survey

Aug 17 (Reuters) – Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda,
a fiscal conservative, is financial markets’ preferred choice
among candidates to succeed unpopular Prime Minister Naoto Kan,
but whoever takes over is unlikely to last more than a year in
the job, a Reuters poll showed.

Kan, who took office in June 2010 as Japan’s fifth premier
in as many years, has signalled that he will step down once
parliament enacts key legislation, including a bill to allow the
government to borrow more to fund this year’s budget.

Aug 10, 2011

Endgame nearing for unpopular Japan PM

TOKYO, Aug 10 (Reuters) – Unpopular Japanese Prime Minister
Naoto Kan looked likely to finally step down this month after
parliament made headway on key legislation on Wednesday, setting
the stage for Japan’s sixth prime minister in five years.

Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda, a low-key fiscal
conservative, is a key contender to succeed Kan.

Aug 10, 2011

Japan starts countdown to PM Kan’s departure

TOKYO, Aug 10 (Reuters) – Prospects grew on Wednesday that
Prime Minister Naoto Kan would resign this month, setting the
stage for the selection of Japan’s sixth leader in five years as
the country struggles to rebuild from a massive tsunami, forge a
new energy policy in the wake of a nuclear crisis and fix
tattered state finances.

With two key bills that Kan wants to make into law before he
goes looking likely to be enacted before parliament’s session
ends on Aug. 31, Japanese media said Kan’s Democratic Party was
planning to vote as early as Aug. 28 to select a new leader.

Aug 9, 2011

Japan finmin refrains from launching leadership bid

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda postponed a reported plan to announce on Tuesday his bid to replace unpopular Prime Minister Naoto Kan, saying he would focus on confronting global financial market turmoil.

Japanese media said Noda, who favours raising the sales tax to fund bulging social security costs, had intended to announce his candidacy for a party leadership race at a meeting of Democratic Party allies later in the day.

Aug 9, 2011

Japan finmin to run for party leader, may resign: report

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda will run in a party leadership race to replace Prime Minister Naoto Kan and may resign his cabinet post in coming weeks to boost pressure on the premier to step down, the Sankei newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Other Japanese media also said Noda, a fiscal hawk who favors raising the sales tax to fund bulging social security costs, would state his intention to run in a Democratic Party leadership race, but did not mention any plan to resign.

    • 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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