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Japan's Top Office: Whose Turn Is It?

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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