New LDP President Junichiro Koizumi on Tuesday pledged to fill his Cabinet and party posts according to ability rather than factional concerns.
“As I have said, I will appoint the right people to the right posts and do away with faction-oriented politics,” Koizumi told a news conference. “I ask you all to pay attention to the reshuffle.”
Koizumi said he would name the party’s top three posts today and name the Cabinet ministers after he is officially named prime minister Thursday.
The reform-minded lawmaker, known as the maverick of the party, expressed his intention to maintain the framework of the current coalition but said details of individual policies would have to wait until after the leaders of its three members meet today.
The former health minister said the economy still has power to revive itself, pointing to the yen’s lasting strength against the dollar over the last decade. However, he said that steps toward a revival could involve pain.
“If necessary reforms are carried out, entering negative growth may be unavoidable,” he said. “But if the country shows firm determination (in implementing reforms) we might be able to avoid negative growth.”
He repeated his campaign pledge to limit the nation’s issuance of government bonds to less than 30 trillion yen, a task he described as “too generous.”
Koizumi vowed to dispose of the nonperforming loans weighing down banks within two to three years.
He also said he is not yet considering a supplementary budget.
Koizumi, meanwhile, stressed the need to revise the post-war Constitution so that there will be no argument on whether the Self-Defense Forces are unconstitutional.
As for diplomatic policies, Koizumi stressed the importance of maintaining friendly relations with the United States as well as improving relations with neighboring countries.
Koizumi said he is surprised that he was elected party president, describing his victory as a “revolution in a time of peace.”
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