In more than three weeks since becoming financial services minister, Shizuka Kamei has sent bank stocks plunging, accused the Bank of Japan of sleeping on the job and blamed the nation’s biggest business lobby for increasing the murder and suicide rates.

His comments have drawn rebukes from Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and other members of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan. The 72-year-old former police official remains unfazed, telling the media Hatoyama “can’t replace me” and that he has the prime minister’s full confidence.

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