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Finance chief Kan to become Japan's prime minister

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Kan to reappoint most ministers of Hatoyama Cabinet
AP - June 5, 2010

Prime Minister-elect Naoto Kan has decided to retain most of the ministers who served in the previous government of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, including Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada and Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa, in his new Cabinet that he plans to launch Tuesday, sources close to Kan said Saturday. Kan also decided to name Yukio Edano as secretary general of his ruling Democratic Party of Japan, the party's No. 2 post, to replace the powerful Ichiro Ozawa, the sources said, in an apparent effort to curtail the influence of Ozawa in party management and policy implementation. Edan and Yoshito Sengoku, who has already been tapped for the post of chief Cabinet secretary, have both criticized Ozawa over "money and politics" problems that are considered to have undermined public confidence in the governing party. (AP) ...
Finance chief Kan to become Japan's prime minister
AP - June 4, 2010

Japan's ruling party picked grass-roots populist Naoto Kan as its new chief Friday, paving his way to replace political blueblood Yukio Hatoyama as prime minister while the party struggles to reclaim public support ahead of July elections. "My task is to rebuild this nation," Kan said, stressing the need to spur economic growth and confront problems linking "money and politics." Kan, 63, was finance minister under the unpopular Hatoyama, who stepped down Wednesday amid plunging approval ratings over broken campaign promises and a political funding scandal. Because the Democratic Party of Japan controls the more powerful lower house of parliament, Kan was virtually certain to be chosen as prime minister by lawmakers later in the day. (AP)

'Cove' keeps courting controversy
Wall Street Journal - June 4, 2010

The yawns that greeted Japan's leadership shift this week couldn't contrast more with the raw emotions over "The Cove," an Academy Award-winning documentary about dolphin hunting in a Japanese fishing village. Outrage and fury among hardcore nationalists have been building for months, finally causing a Tokyo movie theater to cancel plans to show the film. The Associated Press reported that on Thursday, the movie's Japanese distributor, Unplugged, said Theater N Shibuya, which was scheduled to show "The Cove" from June 26, had changed its mind after receiving threatening phone calls and warnings that there would be protests if the film were shown. (Wall Street Journal)

Japan, a land out of ideas
BusinessWeek - June 2, 2010

Pundits claim Hatoyama's less than nine-month stint ended because of scandals and bickering over U.S. military bases. The truth is, he was done in by a lack of creative thinking. Japan's competitiveness ranking fell to 27th place from 17th in 2009. The thousands of Japanese waiting in line for hours last week for iPads helped dramatize why. Steve Jobs's Apple Inc. isn't killing companies such as Sony Corp. because of high corporate taxes, as many executives say. It's doing so because of a dearth of inventiveness. Hatoyama's departure comes as local media obsess over the "iPad shock," which followed the "iPhone shock" and "iPod shock." (BusinessWeek)

Gundam coming to life in Shizuoka
Japan Times - June 4, 2010

Construction work on a "life-size" statue of the Gundam fictitious giant combat robot was opened to the press Wednesday in Shizuoka ahead of a public showing following last year's similar event in a Tokyo waterfront district. This time the 18-meter-tall robot will stand near JR Higashishizuoka Station holding a Beam Saber, a signature weapon of Gundam in a popular sci-fi animation series, according to toy company Bandai Co., which leads the project. (Japan Times)

Presence of sake grows in diplomacy
Japan Times - June 4, 2010

Sake is gradually increasing its presence at banquets where Japanese government leaders play host to foreign dignitaries. The Foreign Ministry has mainly used wine at such banquets because it is easy to handle and goes well with any dish. However, sake has begun to be included among other beverages at dinners and receptions amid growing calls from within the ministry to actively push sake in the field of diplomacy. (Japan Times)

By J.S. on June 9, 2010

tag : National News



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