Nonaka wants Mori to host summit

Says Mori should handle G8 regardless of election

LDP

Secretary General Hiromu Nonaka said Sunday he wants to see Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori’s cabinet host the July 21-23 Group of Eight (G8) summit in Okinawa Prefecture, regardless of the general election schedule or outcome.

Nonaka made the remarks on NHK and Fuji TV programs amid growing indications that a general election will be held either June 18 or 25.

He also expressed hope that the incumbent foreign minister and finance minister as well as the chief cabinet secretary, who also heads the Okinawa Development Agency, would stay on for the summit should the current three-way coalition of the LDP, the New Komeito party and the New Conservative Party remain intact after the election.

Nonaka was chief cabinet secretary under then Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi on April 28 last year when the government announced Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, as the venue of the 2000 G8 summit.

Selection defended

Hiromu Nonaka, secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), on Sunday defended the process by which Yoshiro Mori was chosen as LDP president and Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi’s successor.

Nonaka, appearing on an NHK debate program, defended what the opposition camp called “backroom” politics.

But Nonaka, who is widely believed to have played a key role in the unpublicized selection process, said he is “deeply sorry” for Obuchi, who had a stroke that has left him in a coma.

The former chief cabinet secretary acknowledged that the prime minister’s official residence lacked an emergency medical team when Obuchi fell critically ill and was taken to hospital April 2.

Nonaka defended the government’s decision to keep secret the full extent of Obuchi’s medical condition, citing his family’s wishes and Juntendo University Hospital’s consent in respecting that wish.