Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa has submitted a list of budgetary demands for fiscal 2010 to the administration. Unfortunately the process of compiling the demands lacks transparency. As Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama moves toward a final decision about the budget, his political leadership will be tested because he has to prioritize projects amid a severe shortage of funds.

If he tries to keep all the main promises contained in the DPJ’s election manifesto, it will lead to a bloated national debt. Given the harsh financial conditions, he will need courage to drop, revise or postpone some election promises.

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