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3RD LD: Kamei given new Cabinet offer, Fukushima consumer affairs chief.

TOKYO, Sept. 15 Kyodo

(EDS: UPDATING, INCORPORATING EARLIER STORY ON KAMEI)

Yukio Hatoyama, the presumptive prime minister and president of the Democratic Party of Japan, on Tuesday offered Shizuka Kamei, leader of the People's New Party, a Cabinet post overseeing postal and financial affairs, a senior official of his party said Tuesday.

The offer came a few hours after a PNP executive said Kamei was asked to the defense minister post and he accepted it.

Hatoyama also tapped Mizuho Fukushima, leader of the Social Democratic Party, another party that will form a coalition government with the DPJ, for the post of state minister in charge of consumer affairs, the declining birthrate, food safety and gender equality, party officials said.

Fukushima accepted the offer, they said.

Hatoyama is expected to begin offering other ministerial posts to prospective members of his Cabinet from Tuesday evening. He will be elected new prime minister in a special parliamentary session on Wednesday by virtue of the nearly two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives his party won in a general election late last month.

Kamei, 72, who heads a small party that opposes the privatization of postal services, had requested the post of internal affairs and communications minister, who has jurisdiction over postal services.

Fukushima, 53, initially requested a ministerial post in charge of employment issues but later switched to the post of environment minister. Unemployment and the environment are two issues Fukushima's SDP has championed, but her small party also advocates greater protection of consumers.

Meanwhile, Hatoyama asked Takahiro Yokomichi, former vice speaker of the House of Representatives, to assume the post of lower house speaker, and Yokomichi accepted it, DPJ officials said.

Yokomichi, 68, who has temporarily left the DPJ to fill the vice-speaker post, will be elected new speaker of the chamber in the special parliamentary session to be convened on Wednesday.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Sep 21, 2009
Words:310
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