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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 09/17/2010, 00.00

    JAPAN

    Government reshuffle for Naoto Kan, while his party is divided

    Pino Cazzaniga

    Only the Ministers of Finance and Defence confirmed. Seiji Maehara is the new foreign minister. The reshuffle after the elections for the new party president, with the defeat of Ichiro Ozawa. Khan faces economic challenge, but also the division within his camp.

     

    On 14 September from the lobby of a hotel in the capital, the elections of the President of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) the ruling party were held. The two candidates, Naoto Kan (63), prime minister, and Ichiro Ozawa (68), former secretary of the DPJ had to contend 1222 points, but there were several thousand voters, whose votes, however, did not all have the same weight : the 411 DPJ members of parliament had 822 points reserved, because their vote was worth 2 points, 100 went to the regional assemblies and the remaining 300 to members.

    It was a surprisingly democratic election, not only in appearance, but even more so because MPs consulted with their constituencies. And so it appeared that among the so-called "Osawa children" some have not voted in favour of their mentor. As a result Khan won with 721 points against 491 for Ozawa.

     

    The serious face of the winner

    After the announcement of victory, Kan, despite the significant advantage over his challenger, maintained a 'serious expression’.  When he got up to thank the supporters he was aware of the formidable challenges ahead. Two in particular: a divided Parliament and the struggle for power within his party.

    For over a year, the DPJ has had an absolute majority in the House but because of the electoral defeat of 'July 11 last , it has a minority in the Senate.

    The urgent challenge that Khan, confirmed as prime minister, is facing is the severe economic downturn that he intends to resolve through a policy of fiscal stringency and a massive creation of jobs. To achieve the strict program needs, as well as the support of the legislature, the support of a united party. "I'll do my best”, he said, after the elections, “to build a united party where every member of the DPJ can work with all his or her forces."

     

    Handshakes and diplomatic smiles

    Once the election was over, Kan and Ozawa presented themselves to the public with a smile and firm handshake, as if to indicate the intention to cooperate.

    "No Saido" (Japanese transliteration of English no side) was the refrain of the short speech of the re-elected Prime Minister. For his part, Ozawa had earlier assured the public of his collaboration, regardless of the results of the elections. An optimism that is not shared by most critics, on the contrary, they fear a split in the party.

     

    The weakness of a brilliant victory

    In this election what has emerged in the foreground are not programs but personalities of the two protagonists. "The electoral race”, writes the editor of The Japan Times, “was a quarrel between Prime Minister Khan who has not shown strong leadership and former party president Ozawa personality who not transparent despite his political skills."

    Khan's win with a considerable advantage over Ozawa should provide sufficient confidence for the former to begin a vigorous government action to address the worrying economic situation. But it is not. If the figures of three categories of "electors",  are correct the picture that emerges is very different.

    Kan was blessed with good margin at the regional assemblies level (60 points against 40) and that of members and supporters (249 against 51 for Ozawa), but at the DPJ parliamentary level the difference was very small: 412 points against 400, ie because every DPJ parliamentary vote is worth two points, 206 MPs supported Kan and 200Ozawa. Which reveals a very divided.

     

    The prime minister's dilemma

    An employee of 29 who supported the prime minister for his realistic policy, said: "I expect a lot from Kan and I agree with him about the need to revise the (the party) program. It is important to correct it if the situation warrants it", and Mr. Yishitaka Suzuki (60), who usually does not vote for the DPJ, expects a lot from Khan, but criticized the party's internal division. "It seems to me”, he  said “that the DPJ is acting like the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which has always been sick with factionalism. Ozawa is accelerating the DPJ divisions in this sense”.

    In this context, Khan faces a dilemma for the reshuffle of the cabinet: to offer or not important offices to Ozawa or members of his group. If you take the first alternative he will be the subject of strong criticism by those who fear the return of the old politics of the Liberal Democratic Party. If he adopts the second, secession within the party is likely.

    Kozo Watanabe (78), former Speaker of the House, and now a member of the DPJ, urged Ozawa to accept the outcome of the election with elegance and asked Khan to forget who won in an effort to put the right people in the right place.

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    See also

    11/09/2010 JAPAN
    Democratic Party of Japan: war between Ozawa and Kan
    Choice of party president and subsequently also of prime minister looms. Ichiro Ozawa is suspected of being close to the business and military communities; Naoto Kan has established a more democratic tradition closer to society's problems. Meanwhile the Japanese economy suffers from the crisis and a strong yen.

    29/01/2007 SRI LANKA
    President reshuffles cabinet, his party gains absolute majority in parliament
    MPs from the opposition United National Party cross the floor to join the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party. Leaders clash whilst President Rajapakse gains a free hand to deal with the rebels.

    14/01/2011 JAPAN
    Tokyo, government reshuffle to support economy and public spending
    The real change is in the new minister for the economy, Kaoru Yosano, a former conservative minister. He supports increasing consumer tax to cover the fiscal budget for 2011. Since 2000, spending on social welfare and healthcare has grown by 60% in Japan due to an aging population. A push for the TTP, a free trade area among nine countries in the Pacific.

    02/07/2012 JAPAN
    Tokyo: strongman Ichiro Ozawa leaves the Democrats, Government at risk
    Former party leader resigns along with 51 other MPs. The fracture caused by the draft legislation, which will double (from 5 to 10%) the consumption tax by 2015. Fears for the majority in the House. However, the new line does not enjoy widespread support among voters.

    30/04/2012 JAPAN
    The rise to power Ichiro Ozawa: the "shadow shogun".
    A man of undoubted political skills, a history within the Liberal Democrats and as Foreign Minister in the Nakasone government, he later reached leadership of Democratic Party. He left the Party because of trial, but could re-enter. His goal is to become Prime Minister.



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