. Earth Science News .

Ex-Japanese foreign minister eyes top job
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (UPI) Aug 24, 2011

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Japanese former Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara confirmed he will run his party's leadership race next week to succeed Naoto Kan as prime minister.

Maehara, who resigned as foreign minister in March, said he will focus on uniting the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and halt its plummeting approval ratings.

The DPJ fell out of favor due partly to a mishandling of the affairs in the aftermath of March's earthquake and tsunami disasters and the ensuing Fukushima nuclear plant crisis.

Maehara, 49, likely will face Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda, Trade Minister Banri Kaieda and several other DPJ members in the contest.

He told members of his party that it must "change the government to give the people hope and a sense of security for the future," a report in The Japan Times said.

"We must follow policies that address people's concerns and give them a feeling of security and hope," Maehara said. "Please allow me to stand at the helm of our efforts to overcome the national crisis with the help of every single one of you."

Maehara briefly led the center-left DPJ in 2005 and resigned as Kan's foreign minister in March after receiving an illegal $3,000 political donation from a foreign national -- an ethnic Korean living in Japan, the BBC reported.

The winner of the party's internal election will be Japan's sixth prime minister in five years and be installed by next Tuesday.

Also expected to run will be Farm Minister Michihiko Kano, former Transport Minister Sumio Mabuchi and ex-Environment Minister Sakihito Ozawa.

But because time is short and there is a high number of candidates, serious policy debates may be lacking, Tomoaki Iwai, a political science professor at Nihon University, told the Times. Voters' main concern will be about who can unite the DPJ and work with the opposition parties.

"The whole point of the race is to replace Kan, who has been criticized for his lack of leadership and inability to work with the opposition," Iwai said. "The race will be about intra-party power balances. Tax hikes and other issues will be put on the back burner."

Despite mounting criticism of Kan, none of the DPJ candidates nor executives of the Liberal Democratic Party, the main opposition, has put forward any grand policy alternatives for rebuilding disaster-stricken Japan, Iwai said.

The crisis within the DPJ came to a head in early June when Kan announced he'd resign as soon as post-earthquake recovery plans were more concrete.

"I'd like to pass on my responsibility to a younger generation once we reach a certain stage in tackling the disaster and I've fulfilled my role," Kan said in a nationally televised meeting of DPJ members in June.

The DPJ and its allies hold 309 of the seats in the 480-member House of Representatives.

The current crisis for the DPJ arose when Kan, 64, was unable to agree with the center-right Liberal Democratic Party on how to rebuild the communities and infrastructure destroyed by the environmental disaster in March which left nearly 24,000 people dead or missing.

The DPJ -- which was formed in 1998 when several opposition groups joined forces -- came to power in 2009, ending the LDP's grip on power for all but 10 months since 1955.

Kan, himself, took office in wake of a previous DPJ crisis last year when Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama resigned after he backtracked on a pledge to move a major U.S. military base from the island of Okinawa.

Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries

. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Biden praises Japan's courage after tsunami
Sendai, Japan (AFP) Aug 23, 2011
US Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday praised Japan's courage and resolve as he visited its tsunami-shattered coast, where American forces helped with a large-scale relief effort. Biden, near the end of an Asia tour, is the top-ranking American official to travel to the region where the March 11 earthquake and tsunami claimed more than 20,000 lives and sparked the Fukushima nuclear disaster ... read more

Facebook-Twitter to face riot-spooked British officials

Ex-Japanese foreign minister eyes top job

Lithuania vexed by Leningrad nuke mishap

NIST tests help ensure reliable wireless alarm beacons for first responders

Melanin's 'trick' for maintaining radioprotection studied

Fukushima caesium leaks 'equal 168 Hiroshimas'

Dutch judge slaps ban on Samsung smartphones

Antennas in your clothes? New design could pave the way

Growing energy demand adds stress to water supply

Australia's Coral Sea 'biodiversity hotspot': study

Water Week starts with calls for better urban water

Office of Naval Research taking on challenges of unmanned underwater vehicles

Research Vessel Polarstern at North Pole

Newly discovered Icelandic current could change climate picture

Denmark moves forward on North Pole claim

UCI researchers chart long-shrouded glacial reaches of Antarctica

Breeding Ozone-Tolerant Crops

Pastoralism offer best hope for combating African dryland droughts

Radical overhaul of farming could be 'game-changer' for global food security

Summer Drought limits the positive effects of CO2 and heat on plant growth in future climate

'Dangerous' Irene lashes Bahamas, aims at US coast

Washington assesses damage from rare east coast quake

Hurricane Irene pounds Bahamas, aims at US coast

Powerful quake rattles remote area of Peru

Guinea-Bissau says military reform requires funding

Mystery fire fuels Zimbabwe power struggle

Top Zimbabwe military officer killed in blaze

Zimbabwe powerbroker, ex-defence chief Mujuru dies in blaze

A New Nuance to Neurons

Study: Human ancestors early seafarers

Narcissism may benefit the young, researchers report; but older adults? Not so much

Study: Some are born with math ability

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement