New Prime Minister Naoto Kan has announced the lineup of the Democratic Party of Japan’s party leadership and the Cabinet. The lineup clearly shows his thinking: Give a fresh image to the party and Cabinet and win back people’s trust by diluting the influence of former DPJ Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa, whose image suffered over allegations that his political funds management body violated the Political Funds Control Law.
Mr. Kan appointed Mr. Yukio Edano to the post of party secretary general. Mr. Edano had played a leading role in the Government Revitalization Unit (GRU), which scrutinizes budget requests and projects of nonprofit public service corporate bodies that receive public money, and has served as administrative reform minister in the Hatoyama Cabinet. Mr. Edano is highly critical of Mr. Ozawa’s political style, which aroused suspicions of pork-barrel spending and the revival of vested-interest politics.