Yoshihiko Noda becomes Japan’s sixth leader in five years, seeking a consensus to raise taxes to pay for rebuilding from the March earthquake and nuclear disaster and reduce the world’s largest debt. He’s unlikely to get it.
Japan’s credit rating downgrade gives Prime Minister Naoto Kan an opportunity to push fiscal restructuring measures, such as raising the country’s sales tax, provided he can ward off attacks over his leadership abilities.
Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan said he intends to win passage of three bills responding to the earthquake and nuclear crisis before stepping down, defining for the first time conditions for fulfilling his pledge to resign.
Ichiro Ozawa, Japan’s most powerful politician, was recommended to face criminal charges over a finance scandal involving his aides, increasing pressure on Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama to dismiss his former boss.
Japanese consumers are making deeper cutbacks after the March 11 earthquake than anticipated, heightening the urgency for policy makers to unveil measures to end the nation’s third recession in a decade.
Ichiro Ozawa kicked off his campaign to become Japan’s prime minister with a pledge to intervene in currency markets to weaken the yen from a 15-year high and to renegotiate an agreement to move a U.S. Marine base on Okinawa.