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Ear to the Ground

Japan’s Top Office: Whose Turn Is It?

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Posted on Aug 28, 2011
U.S. Treasury Department

Man on the spot: A laundry list of pressing domestic issues faces Yoshihiko Noda as he prepares to step into the premiership.

Japan has already burned through five prime ministers in five years, with a sixth, Yoshihiko Noda, expected to take over from Naoto Kan on Tuesday. Kan was forced to resign Friday because of dissatisfaction with his response to the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country.

Noda will lead the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and currently serves as finance minister. The DPJ is considered a center-left party. Noda has been called a fiscal conservative and has also suggested raising taxes.

On his to-do list: rebuild the country, sort out the mess at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, do something about Japan’s long economic winter, and convince everyone he’ll be around for more than a year. And we think America has governance issues ... . —PZS

AP via Google:

As finance minister since June 2010, Noda has been contending with budgets and a strong yen, which hit a post-World War II high against the dollar earlier this month.

Noda must also deal with a divided parliament, which has increased gridlock, after the opposition won control of the upper house last summer.

Japan has been plagued by rapid turnover in political leadership that has undermined its ability to tackle serious problems. The past five prime ministers lasting about a year each; Kan lasted the longest at nearly 15 months.

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By Stan Moody, August 29, 2011 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Maybe it’s Bob Dole’s turn!

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By SarcastiCanuck, August 29, 2011 at 11:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Apparently if this next one does not work out,Japan will be outsourcing the job to either India or China.Whoever comes in with the lowest bid…

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By Gray, August 29, 2011 at 12:19 am Link to this comment
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“And we think America has governance issues ...”

Well, maybe it’s actually a good idea to kick a bum out who screwed up the response to a natural (or economical) disaster (or who frivolously started a war) ? You wanna say that supporting weak presidents, or even reelecting them, is a reasonable way to improve the situation for the people? Hmm.

I dig the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Giving a guy less than a year to change the course doesn’t make much sense, but eight years are too much for a nation to suffer under a bad leader.

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