• Kyodo News


Opposition parties slammed the reshuffled Cabinet of Prime Minister Naoto Kan, saying it clearly showed the dearth of high-caliber lawmakers within the ruling Democratic Party of Japan.

Tadamori Oshima, vice president of the Liberal Democratic Party, blasted the appointments of former House of Councilors President Satsuki Eda, former LDP Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano and DPJ Acting Secretary General Yukio Edano to the new Cabinet.

Eda, who was appointed justice minister, headed Kan’s campaign team in the September 2010 DPJ presidential election, when the prime minister defeated scandal-tainted party kingpin Ichiro Ozawa.

Yosano, who was tapped as state minister for economic and fiscal policy, on Thursday left Tachiagare Nippon (Sunrise Party of Japan), a minor opposition party, to join the Cabinet as an independent.

Edano, who became chief Cabinet secretary, briefly served as DPJ secretary general last year but resigned to take responsibility for the party’s drubbing in the July 2010 House of Councilors poll.

“Prime Minister Kan lacks the sincerity to hold serious talks with the opposition camp,” Oshima said.

Meanwhile, LDP Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Ichiro Aisawa also weighed in, criticizing Yosano, who won a Lower House seat on the LDP ticket in the 2009 general election, for joining the new Cabinet.

Yosano committed an “act of betrayal” by joining the DPJ-led Cabinet, Aisawa said, adding he lacks political credibility, as does Kan for appointing him.

Yosano left the LDP and founded Tachiagare Nippon last April with other veteran lawmakers.

Ichiro Kamoshita, acting chairman of the LDP Policy Research Council, said Kan appears to have filled Cabinet posts with his friends, noting the DPJ lacks “young and capable lawmakers.”

The second-largest opposition party, New Komeito, was also underwhelmed by the new Cabinet, saying Kan focused most of his efforts into dealing with the fate of Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku, who had been censured in the Upper House. Kan replaced Sengoku with Edano on Friday.

Meanwhile, Mizuho Fukushima, leader of the Social Democratic Party, said the appointment of Yosano to the key post of economic and fiscal policy minister is merely intended to back Kan’s plan to raise the consumption tax.

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