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Yoshihiko Noda, a Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker who ran in this week’s party leadership race representing young DPJ legislators, rejected Wednesday an offer from party leader Yukio Hatoyama to assume the post of policy chief.

In talks with Hatoyama, the 45-year-old House of Representatives member said he would like to support the party as a rank-and-file member without taking any top posts, according to DPJ lawmakers.

The leadership race was held Monday.

Hatoyama asked Noda to rethink his stance, but Noda stood by his decision, saying: “I believe I am answering with significant responsibility. My decision will not change.”

Hatoyama had hoped to fill key party posts as swiftly as possible but is having trouble doing so.

“I would like to actively use young legislators, including Mr. Noda,” he said. “If time is necessary (to bring them around), I will spend a sufficient amount to do so.”

Some young DPJ members who had sought a rejuvenation of the party have expressed dissatisfaction with Hatoyama in the wake of his re-election, criticizing as cronyism the appointment Tuesday of key Hatoyama supporter Kansei Nakano, 61, as secretary general.

The party initially planned to convene members from both Diet chambers Thursday to approve executive appointments. In his meeting with Noda, however, Hatoyama said the meeting date had not been finalized, and that the gathering could not be held until the posts were filled.

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