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2ND LD: Kan starts selecting vice ministers, parliamentary secretaries.

TOKYO, Sept. 18 Kyodo


Prime Minister Naoto Kan started choosing new senior vice ministers and parliamentary secretaries of government offices Saturday, following the Cabinet reshuffle the previous day.

While Kan did not pick anyone from the Democratic Party of Japan intraparty group headed by rival Ichiro Ozawa for his new Cabinet and the party leadership, the premier is considering appointing those who supported Ozawa in the DPJ presidential election in vacant posts to appeal to party unity, sources close to him said.

Kan defeated former DPJ Secretary General Ozawa in the party leadership race on Tuesday.

The appointments of new senior vice ministers and parliamentary secretaries will be approved at the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, after a three-day weekend, before the extraordinary Diet session to convene on Oct. 6.

Asked about the treatment of members of Ozawa's intraparty group, Kan said at a press conference Friday evening, ''The group has many young lawmakers. I hope people will see (how I treat them) in the upcoming list of new senior vice ministers and parliamentary secretaries.''

On the premier's remarks, Banri Kaieda, the new minister responsible for economic and fiscal policy who backed Ozawa in the election, said in a TV program Saturday morning, ''I believe those who belong to the Ozawa group will be appointed as senior vice ministers and parliamentary secretaries.''

Meanwhile, DPJ policy chief Koichiro Gemba, newly assigned as state minister for national policy, during a TV appearance said the ruling party has decided to set up a project team to promote the reforms in taxation and social security.

The new team will be headed by former Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii, Gemba said. ''We will inclusively discuss how to drastically promote the taxation system and how social security should be,'' he added.

The new Cabinet members will convene on Monday, a national holiday in Japan, to study the challenges facing the so-called divided Diet, in which the upper house is controlled by the opposition bloc, and how to promote politicians making policy, not bureaucrats.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:Sep 20, 2010
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