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Japan's ruling Cabinet formed as DPJ gear up for upper house election

06-08-2010 15:33 BJT

TOKYO, June 8 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister and Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Naoto Kan appointed his new Cabinet Tuesday, following Japan's ruling party selecting a fresh leadership a day earlier, as the DPJ set about tackling a host of pressing issues following the abrupt resignation of Kan's predecessor and ahead of looming upper house elections.

Kan, who was elected prime minister in a parliamentary vote in both houses last week, was widely expected to retain most of the Cabinet of outgoing leader Yukio Hatoyama and indeed the nation's new leader retained the services of 11 ministers out of 17 who served in Hatoyama's Cabinet, including Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa and Transport Minister Seiji Maehara, who will be charged with the delicate issue of advancing the relocation of a U.S. marine base in Okinawa that was the crux of Hatoyama's downfall.

The fifth prime minister in Japan since 2006, Kan has already garnered a healthy support from the public according to recent polls as the public value Kan's grassroots background, as opposed to a slew of former leaders from blue-blooded political lineage.

Kan has made it clear that "continuity" in the DPJ is vital for the party to consolidate its power in the upper house election in July and has appointed key allies such as Yoshihiko Noda to be Finance Minister from his previous role as senior vice finance minister and long-term confidant Satoshi Arai to be national strategy minister.

Masahiko Yamada's portfolio has been changed from that of senior vice minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, to farm minister, replacing Hirotaka Akamatsu.

Upper house lawmaker Renho, who goes by her first name, became minister in charge of administrative reform and is renown for cost cutting initiatives in state sanctioned projects.

Meanwhile, Koichiro Gemba, who heads the DPJ's policy research council and is a staunch advocator of fiscal reform, will be state minister for civil service.

The 63-year-old new leader, who has retained the support of the DPJ's junior coalition partner, the People's New Party, is driven to rejuvenating the DPJ's image, in the wake of Hatoyama and Ichiro Ozawa's political funds scandals, and turning around Japan' s economic deterioration, tackling deflation and boosting employment as he has maintained in recent remarks.

Kan will attend an attestation ceremony at the Imperial Palace at which his Cabinet will be officially sworn in late in the day.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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