• Kyodo

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Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda took office in September, becoming Japan’s sixth prime minister in five years. One thing that people will pay attention to is whether he can stay in power for more than 12 months — something four out his five immediate predecessors failed to do.

Whether he succeeds depends in part on whether he can win the next presidential election of his Democratic Party of Japan, set for the fall of 2012, and whether he can lead the ruling party to victory in a general election that may take place this year. Since Noda is already struggling with falling approval ratings, these are by no means certain, and Japan may yet see a seventh prime minister in six years.

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