September 14, 2007

The race for the next PM of Japan

As the saying goes " Japan has changed its underwear again". After the abrupt resignation of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the race for the next PM of Japan has begun. Former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda was drawing wide support in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Friday to succeed outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, taking an upper hand in what looks set to be a duel with LDP Secretary General Taro Aso in the Sept 23 party leadership election.

Aso officially announced his candidacy at a news conference in the afternoon, while Fukuda, 71, said in a morning gathering of the LDP's largest faction to which he belongs, "I am encouraged and I felt a stronger need than before to do it. Believing that this is a time of emergency, we must move politics forward."

While the opposition parties are calling for a snap election. Three opposition parties agreed Friday to demand the next prime minister dissolve the House of Representatives at an early date for a snap general election.

The agreement was reached during a meeting between Democratic Party of Japan Secretary-General Yukio Hatoyama and his counterparts in the Social Democratic Party and the People's New Party -- Seiji Mataichi and Hisaoki Kamei -- in Tokyo on Friday morning.

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