Japan PM to reshuffle cabinet 'to cool row'

2012-10-01 11:00
Japan Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. (File, AP)

Japan Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tokyo - Japan's unpopular prime minister will use a cabinet reshuffle Monday to try to mend fences with China and to boost his flagging popularity ahead of an expected general election, reports said.

Yoshihiko Noda is expected to elevate Makiko Tanaka, a woman with pro-Beijing credentials, into the cabinet, a symbolic move to signal Tokyo's hope of moving past a damaging row over disputed islands, newspapers reported.

Although a wholescale clear-out is not expected - several key figures will keep their jobs - the reshuffle is also the premier's bid to reinvigorate his government after a costly battle to pass tax legislation.

The government's chief spokesperson Osamu Fujimura told reporters that all cabinet ministers had tendered their resignations on Monday morning, a procedural move that happens ahead of reshuffles.

"Today in the special cabinet meeting the prime minister told us he will conduct a cabinet reshuffle," he said. "The resignations of all cabinet ministers were collected."

Noda is expected to make 68-year-old Tanaka education minister. The job is relatively powerless and has little to do with China, but commentators say he is hoping it will show a willingness to move on from the current territorial impasse.

Measure of continuity


Japan and China have clashed repeatedly over the last few months about the Tokyo-administered Senkaku islands, which China claims as the Diaoyus.

Tanaka is the daughter of former prime minister Kakuei Tanaka, who normalised diplomatic ties with Beijing 40 years ago last Saturday, and has warm links with China.

She had a short stint as foreign minister under popular prime minister Junichiro Koizumi.

Her tenure was marked by rows with bureaucrats and is chiefly remembered for the tearful speech she gave after being sacked in 2002.

The prime minister will likely keep Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba and defence chief Satoshi Morimoto in their current posts to provide a measure of continuity as he seeks to navigate between an angry Beijing and rising nationalist sentiment at home.

Finance Minister Jun Azumi will be moved into a top party post, with the relatively unknown Koriki Jojima taking the reins of the world's third-largest economy.

Under pressure

Jojima will have his work cut out over the next 10 days, swatting up for the annual IMF and World Bank meetings that Tokyo will host from next week.

Noda has named the telegenic Goshi Hosono as policy chief of his Democratic Party, a move seen as an effort to boost popularity in the upcoming general election.

Hosono was widely believed to have been well-positioned to oust Noda as party president - and therefore prime minister - during a recent election, but decided against a tilt at leadership.

Noda beat his rivals handsomely in the poll, which had to be held under party rules. His victory was seen less as a vote of confidence and more as the result of there being no other credible candidate in the race.

The premier is under pressure to call an election this year after offering his opponents a vague pledge to dissolve parliament "sometime soon" in exchange for their support on a pet project to raise sales tax.

But woeful opinion poll numbers have left many in his factionally-riven party fearing for their seats, with the opposition Liberal Democratic Party seen likely to narrowly come out on top in a national ballot.

Japan's main opposition party chose former premier Shinzo Abe as its new leader last week, in a vote that potentially positions him to be reinstated as prime minister.

Read more on:    yoshihiko noda  |  china  |  japan
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Saturday Cape Town - 07:38 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
  • Saturday Constantia - 07:19 AM
    Road name: Rhodes Drive Both Ways
    ROAD CLOSED between Constantia Nek and Canterbury Road until 1300
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia C3

The Nokia C3 Features a 2+ Megapixel Camera, A2DP, Bluetooth,...

From R1175.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.