Yoshihiko Noda to become next PM of Japan

Yoshihiko Noda faces challenges on economy, post-tsunami reconstruction

Japan’s next prime minister is expected to officially take office by Tuesday at the earliest. Yoshihiko Noda, 54, won a televised leadership vote of the governing Democratic Party of Japan on Monday night. The vote came after Naoto Kan stepped down just 14 months into his tenure as prime minister. Kan’s public support tanked in the wake of the 11.0 magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami that left an estimated 20,000 people dead and massive stretches of Japanese coastline in ruins. His support slipped further in the fallout of the ongoing nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi reactors. Noda will take the helm of the Japanese government at a time when the world’s largest economy is hampered by massive public debt and political dysfunction. Noda will be the sixth prime minister since 2006. The reputed fiscal conservative is expected to focus on reducing Japan’s debt, partly by doubling the country-wide sales tax to 10 per cent. Noda is also rumoured to support the notion of an emergency governing coalition with opposition parties in the nation’s legislature. “There are no sides now,” said Noda after winning Monday’s leadership contest. “Let us sweat together for the sake of the people.”

The Globe and Mail


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