Profiles of top three new DPJ executives

Kyodo News

Edano named No. 2

Yukio Edano, new secretary general of the Democratic Party of Japan, gained prominence through his leadership in reviewing government programs in open settings to weed out wasteful spending.

Considered a top policy expert in the DPJ and with his credentials as a lawyer, the 46-year-old has been given the role of offering government interpretations of laws and regulations at Diet meetings.

As secretary general, Edano replaces Ichiro Ozawa, of whom he has been a bitter critic over the powerful lawmaker’s “strong-arm” party management and money scandals.

Observers say his criticism of Ozawa was why Edano was initially not given a ministerial post in Yukio Hatoyama’s Cabinet, which resigned en masse Friday.

A graduate of Tohoku University, Edano was first elected to the Lower House in 1993 at age 29 and is currently serving his sixth term representing the Saitama No. 5 single-seat district.

Genba, policy chief

Koichiro Genba, policy chief of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, is considered a prospective next-generation political leader and has been an advocate of fiscal rehabilitation.

The 46-year-old Lower House member from the Fukushima No. 3 district set up a study group on government finances in May. He believes in shoring up the country’s tattered public finances through a hike in the consumption tax.

Genba, a Fukushima native, was first elected to the Lower House in 1993 and joined the moves to establish the DPJ in 1998.

Tarutoko as Diet chief

Little-known Shinji Tarutoko became Diet affairs chief of the Democratic Party of Japan after losing out to Naoto Kan in Friday’s party leadership election.

The 50-year-old Lower House lawmaker commands trust from fellow members, among whom he has gained a reputation for taking care of them. Some, indeed, view him like an elder brother.

A graduate of the Matsushita Institute of Government and Management, a school for aspiring politicians, Tarutoko was first elected to the Lower House in 1993 as a member of the Japan New Party.

He switched parties several times before settling on the DPJ. Though he lost his Diet seat in 2005, the Shimane Prefecture native returned to national politics after running successfully in last summer’s general election.