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.

Read more

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface.  We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig