• Kyodo News


One of Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s right-hand men lashed out Monday at Ichiro Ozawa for not providing sufficient details on how he would craft next year’s budget.

“He is strongly criticizing (Kan) by not facing reality,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku said at a news conference when asked about Ozawa’s repeated claims that the administration has failed to slash wasteful spending and wrest control of the budget process from the bureaucracy.

Sengoku, one of the most powerful figures in the Cabinet, said Ozawa’s argument since the Democratic Party of Japan leadership race kicked off last Wednesday is too vague and he hasn’t provided any details on projected spending or revenue in the fiscal year starting next April.

In the face of deteriorating fiscal conditions, the Kan administration is planning to cap general-account spending, excluding debt-servicing costs, at around ¥71 trillion and new debt issuance at ¥44.3 trillion, both around the same level as this year.

Ozawa has been especially harsh in saying Kan is under the strong influence of Finance Ministry officials, in contrast with the DPJ’s pledge before its win in the 2009 Lower House election.

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