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Noda wins vote to become next Japanese PM

[ 2011-08-30 11:09]     字号 [] [] []  
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Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda, a fiscal hawk, will become Japan's sixth prime minister in five years after winning a ruling party vote on Monday, an outcome likely to please investors worried about a bulging public debt.

Noda, 54, who defeated Trade Minister Banri Kaieda in a run-off vote, must cope with a resurgent yen that threatens exports, forge a new energy policy while ending the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl, and find funds to rebuild from the March 11 tsunami at a time when huge public debt has already triggered a credit downgrade. Skeptics are concerned that he will join a gallery of short-lived prime ministers.

No Japanese prime minister has lasted much more than a year since 2006 and most market players polled by Reuters this month thought the next government head would be no exception.

Bond markets are expected to welcome the choice of Noda, who among the candidates has been the only one consistently calling for Japan to face painful reforms to rein in the country's ballooning debt.

Noda has said Japan should not build new nuclear reactors, effectively phasing out nuclear power over 40 years, although he wants to restart off-line reactors after safety checks to avoid a power crunch. Japan relied on nuclear power for about 30 percent of its electricity before the Fukushima crisis.

One of the new leader's first challenges will be seeking opposition help in parliament, where the opposition controls the upper house and can block legislation. Noda has floated the idea of a "grand coalition" with opposition rivals -- although the two biggest opposition groups have been cool.

He will be the third premier since his ruling Democratic Party of Japan swept to power in 2009, promising change. Noda will be confirmed by parliament on Tuesday.


1. How many prime ministers has Japan had in the past 5 years?

2. What was Yoshihiko Noda’s former position and political affiliation?

3. What does Noda think Japan should do in regards to nuclear power?


1. Five, Noda will be the sixth

2. He was a finance minister with ties to the Democratic Party of Japan

3. Noda does not want Japan to build new nuclear reactors, and wants phase out nuclear power over 40-years.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Noda wins vote to become next Japanese PM

About the broadcaster:

Noda wins vote to become next Japanese PM

Christine Mallari is an intern at China Daily. She was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in a nearby suburb before moving for college. After recently graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in English, Journalism and Mass Communications, she moved to Beijing to work with China Daily. Though she has been working in journalism since high school, this is her first time doing so abroad.