Kan, Ozawa give campaign speeches to public in Tokyo

18:22, September 04, 2010      

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Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan (R, front) of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and his rival, the party's former No. 2 Ichiro Ozawa (L, front) wave during their joint election campaign for the DPJ presidency in Tokyo, capital of Japan, Sept. 4, 2010. Naoto Kan and Ichiro Ozawa are both candidates of the Sept. 14 party election for the DPJ leadership. (Xinhua/Ji Chunpeng)

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and his election challenger Ichiro Ozawa on Saturday delivered campaign speeches in Tokyo to seek support from public.

Kan reiterated that he wanted to rebuild Japan's politics so that "every citizen can participate", adding that the party election is a race that "the general public can play a role to choose their prime minister."

The winner of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) race is almost certain to become the prime minister as the party controls the majority in the more powerful lower house.

Public opinion polls have shown Kan remained way ahead his rival Ozawa in terms of general public's support, but the latter is supported the largest intraparty group with around 150 lawmakers.

Ozawa said in his speech that he will bring about a shift of control over decision-making to politicians from the country's bureaucrats to implement the pledges the DPJ made before its lower house election victory a year ago.

It is the first weekend since official campaigning for the party election began on Wednesday. Kan and Ozawa are seeking to garner support from rank-and-file party members and party supporters who will be eligible to vote in the election in addition to 412 DPJ lawmakers and local assembly members belonging to the party.

The two plan to hold a joint event for campaign speeches in Osaka on Sunday and in Sapporo on Thursday.

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