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  • » 09/14/2010, 00.00

    JAPAN

    Prime Minister Naoto Kan keeps his job as yen reaches 15-year high



    Kan’s victory over challenger Ichiro Ozawa for the leadership of the Democratic Party of Japan gives yen a boost, now pegged at 83.25 against the US dollar, the best result since May 1995.

    Tokyo (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The yen rose to a 15-year high against the US dollar on news that Prime Minister Naoto Kan beat rival Ichiro Ozawa in a vote today for the leadership of the Democratic Party of Japan. For many observers, this outcome is good for the economy. Meanwhile, Asian stocks fluctuated after three days of gains.

    The yen climbed to 83.36 per dollar in Tokyo, down from 83.71 in New York yesterday after earlier rising to 83.25, the strongest level since May 1995.

    Overall, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.3 per cent to 124.15.

    Analysts believe the yen’s upward swing is due to Kan’s victory, which lowered the likelihood that the government might sell yen to weaken the currency, a move Ozawa backed.

    “Kan has shown a less aggressive stance than Ozawa on currency intervention,” said Kazuya Yashiro, a Tokyo-based foreign-exchange analyst at Himawari Securities Inc. “His victory will therefore give some opportunities to test the upside of the yen.”

    At the helm of the government for the past three months only, Kan was able to get his party to back his leadership, giving his administration a vote of confidence.

    Nicknamed the ‘son of a salary man’, Kan beat Ozawa, dubbed the ‘shadow shogun’, by a margin of 721 to 491 votes.

    Now, his task is to regain the confidence of the hundred or so members of parliament who backed Ozawa.

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    See also

    07/06/2010 JAPAN
    Government change in Tokyo baffles politicians, worries ordinary people
    Hatoyama’s resignation is a courageous choice. By pushing his party’s secretary Ozawa to do the same, he is also freeing his successor’s from the burden of a dual power structure. Okinawa was at the heart of a dispute with the United States.

    12/05/2009 JAPAN
    Opposition party embroiled in scandal, fears impact on election
    Opposition leader Ichiro Ozawa resigned yesterday as a result of a scandal involving his secretary over alleged illegal campaign financing. No clear frontrunner has emerged in the succession race. Lower house elections are scheduled for next September.

    13/09/2007 JAPAN
    Stress, confusion and criticism sink Shinzo Abe
    Prime minister resigns as his political clout declines and stress level rises. Japan turns out to be less nationalistic and more pragmatic. Abe’s legacy includes better relations in Asia, especially with China.

    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.

    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.



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