PNP Secretary-General picked as Japan's minister for financial services, postal reform

15:48, June 11, 2010      

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Shozaburo Jimi, Secretary General of the People's New Party (PNP), was picked as the minister in charge of financial services and postal reform in Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan's Cabinet, following the resignation of PNP chief Shizuka Kamei.

Kamei formally resigned Friday as a member of Kan's Cabinet to protest the Democratic Party of Japan's (DPJ) decision to postpone the passage of a postal service reform bill.

Kamei has maintained that the PNP will not be leaving the ruling bloc.

The PNP chief believes that a promise made between the DPJ and the small coalition partner has been broken and for that reason he is leaving his posts in Kan's cabinet.

The accord in question was reached between the DPJ and the PNP to expeditiously pass a bill designed to scale down postal privatization -- the crux of the PNP's political objectives.

However, Kamei expressed his intention to resign following the DPJ's decision Thursday not to extend the current 150-day ordinary Diet session, which is scheduled to end on June 16, because even after an extension there will not be enough time left to debate and pass the postal bill before upper house elections pegged for July 11, according to DPJ lawmakers.

A number of DPJ lawmakers are facing reelection this summer in the upper house and with Kan's cabinet gaining public support ahead of the key elections in July, with major national newspapers on Thursday reporting the support rate is above 60 percent, compared with about 20 percent for the previous cabinet in the final days of former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, they are keen not to disrupt the election schedule.



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