• Kyodo News


Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Monday gathered members of his new Cabinet to discuss pending problems, such as the strong yen, while tapping ruling party members close to Ichiro Ozawa for face-saving posts such as senior vice minister and chairman of a Lower House committee.

Gathering on Respect for the Aged Day before Kan and Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara leave Tuesday for New York to attend U.N. meetings, members of the Cabinet launched last Friday agreed to address the yen’s movement and deflation ahead of an extraordinary Diet session that opens in early October.

The Democratic Party of Japan meanwhile chose Katsumasa Suzuki, who heads a group of middle-ranking and junior DPJ members loyal to Ozawa, as senior vice minister for internal affairs and communications, and Takeaki Matsumoto, who was promoted recently by Ozawa, as state secretary for foreign affairs, party sources said.

The choices appear to be aimed at saving face for Ozawa’s group, whose members were excluded from Cabinet and party leadership posts.

However, the group will likely stay dissatisfied, according to its members.

The DPJ will also recommend Kazuhiro Haraguchi, who backed Ozawa in last week’s party leadership election, as chairman of the Lower House Internal Affairs and Communications Committee, the sources said.

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