DPJ to OK leadership lineup ahead of cabinet reshuffle
Friday 17th September, 09:02 AM JST
The ruling Democratic Party of Japan is set to give the formal nod Friday to the party’s new leadership lineup led by Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who is expected to reshuffle his cabinet later in the day.
Kan will submit his new roster for the party leadership, which includes Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada in the No. 2 post of secretary general, for official approval at a meeting of all DPJ parliamentarians.
In an apparent bid to achieve party unity, government sources said, Kan has offered DPJ heavyweight Ichiro Ozawa the largely nominal post of acting president of the ruling party. He also made the same offer to Azuma Koshiishi, leader of the party’s upper house caucus.
As for other senior DPJ posts, Kan has decided to pick Yoshio Hachiro as Diet affairs chief and shift Secretary General Yukio Edano to acting secretary general, according to party sources. Policy chief Koichiro Gemba will retain his post and will double as minister in charge of national strategy.
It is uncertain if the new party lineup will help achieve party unity and avoid policy gridlock in the divided Diet, in which the DPJ has a majority in the lower house while the upper house is dominated by the opposition parties.
For his new Cabinet, Kan plans to retain Yoshito Sengoku as chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihiko Noda as finance minister, Renho as state minister for administrative reform, and Shozaburo Jimi, a member of the People’s New Party, as financial services minister.
The prime minister’s other picks also include former Tottori Gov Yoshihiro Katayama, now a professor at Keio University, as internal affairs minister.
Kan has said he is seeking to ‘‘put the right people in the right job’’ regardless of whether they supported him or Ozawa in Tuesday’s DPJ presidential election.