06/08/2010, 00.00
JAPAN

Prime Minister Naoto Kan unveils new cabinet

Key ministers from former Hatoyama cabinet keep their portfolio. A close aide of the new prime minister takes over the Finance Ministry. Swearing in by Emperor Akihito is set for this afternoon.
Tokyo (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Incoming Prime Minister Naoto Kan has chosen his cabinet. He takes over following the disastrous experience of Yukio Hatoyama, who fell just after eight months.

Eleven ministers from the previous cabinet are staying in new executive, plus six new ones, for a total of 17.

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, Defence Minister Toshimi Kitazawa and Transport Minister Seiji Maehara are among those who will keep their jobs.

The important post of Finance minister, which Kan held, has been given to one of his most important aides, 52-year-old Yoshihiko Noda, and a fiscal conservative.

The new government must now try to revitalise Japan’s ailing economy, cutting government debt, which is almost twice the gross domestic product. Tax hikes have not been ruled out.

The new government should be sworn in by Emperor Akihito in an official ceremony to be held late this afternoon in the Imperial Palace.

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