Challenges lay ahead for Japan's new prime minister (2)

14:17, June 05, 2010      

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In the upcoming election, it will be difficult for the DPJ to hold its 54 seats in the upper house. A "twisted parliament" seen in the past when then the opposition Democrats and their allies won control of the upper house may return, allowing the opposition to delay bills and jam the government's policy plans.

Another challenge for the new prime minister is how to handle Japan-U.S. relations. When the opposition, the DPJ repeatedly criticized the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) for blindly following the United States and called for a equal relation with the U.S.

In fact, there are no differences in principle between the two parties in protecting and strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance.

The failure of the outgoing cabinet to relocate the U.S. air base to a coastal area within the Okinawa Prefecture suggests that politicians' promises could be dishonored and that the interests of the people on Okinawa could be ignored but the Japan-U.S. alliance has to be protected.

Kan also has to understand that for his junior cabinet to stay in office longer, he has to formulate effective economic policies so as to escort the infancy of Japan's economic recovery into real growth.

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