The strengths and weakness of Mr. Hatoyama’s government

After meeting with Ozawa Ichiro Monday, it appears that Hatoyama Yukio will get Fujii Hirohisa as his finance minister after all. The party's executive board — comprised of the inner circle of party leaders, including Hatoyama, Ozawa, Kan Naoto, and Okada Katsuya — has approved the roster, which will now go before the party's board …

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Yomiuri contemplates the British model

Following the discussion on Fuji TV's Shin Hodo 2001 that I referenced yesterday, Yomiuri today has three articles addressing the flaws in the Westminster model, suggesting that the conservative approach to attacking the DPJ's administrative reforms will be to warn of the dangers of too much power concentrated in the cabinet.One article warns of "voices" …

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Will Hatoyama be first among equals?

After appointing Ozawa Ichiro as the DPJ's secretary-general and Hirano Hirofumi as chief cabinet secretary, Hatoyama Yukio has announced his intended choices for other senior posts, none of which comes as a surprise.Okada Katsuya, a former party leader and runner-up to Hatoyama in the May party leadership election, is the incoming prime minister's pick for …

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Hatoyama, changing his mind, will appoint senior officials quickly

After suggesting at the start of the week that he would hold off on announcing appointments, Hatoyama Yukio, a day after announcing that Ozawa Ichiro would serve as secretary-general of the DPJ, has announced his chief cabinet secretary, Hirano Hirofumi, a five-term representative from Osaka.Hirano is one of Hatoyama's three closest lieutenants, along with Ozawa …

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The budget is the key to regime change

In their final appeals to Japanese voters, Kan Naoto and other DPJ leaders laid particular stress on the budget.Speaking in Tokyo on Saturday, Kan said, "True regime change is politicians who have received the trust of the people restoring the right to formulate budgets to the people." Okada Katsuya, the DPJ's secretary-general, delivered the same …

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The DPJ contemplates its opening moves with the US

In a survey of candidates' political attitudes, Mainichi found that DPJ and Komeito candidates overlapped more than Komeito and LDP or LDP and DPJ candidates. Whether the policy affinities between DPJ and Komeito candidates presages cooperation between the two parties after the election will depend on other factors, but what interested me about this survey …

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A DPJ government takes shape?

Apropos my comments on the probability of Fujii Hirohisa's being named finance minister in a Hatoyama government, Sankei has a long article speculating that to the three important posts of finance minister, foreign minister, and chief cabinet secretary, Hatoyama Yukio will appoint Fujii, Okada Katsuya, and Kan Naoto respectively. Okada, mentioned as a possible finance …

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The DPJ unveils its manifesto (part one)

At an event at the Hotel New Otani in Tokyo Monday evening the DPJ released its 2009 general election manifesto to the public.Running to twenty-four pages, the manifesto is centered around five major areas: (1) cutting waste (essentially political and administrative reform); (2) child care and education; (3) pensions and health care; (4) regionalization; and …

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