New DPJ leadership launched, PM-elect chooses Edano as his No.2 (2)

19:53, June 07, 2010      

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Ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Naoto Kan addresses a meeting of all DPJ party parliamentarians in Tokyo, June 7, 2010. DPJ launched its new leadership on Monday, ahead of DPJ President and Prime Minister-elect Naoto Kan's official inauguration of a new cabinet on Tuesday. (Xinhua/Ji Chunpeng)

Gemba was first elected to the lower house in 1993 and joined the moves to establish the DPJ in 1998. He is a staunch advocator of fiscal reform and a supporter of then finance minister Kan's push for a 5 percent consumption tax hike to combat the nation's flagging economy and chip away and Japan's burgeoning national debt.

Other key posts selected by Kan, himself elected DPJ President on Friday, were also approved Monday at a meeting of all party parliamentarians and included Shinji Tarutoko, a formerly unknown lawmaker who was Kan's sole opponent in Friday's DPJ leadership race.

Tarutoko became the new Diet affairs chief, as the party hastily tries to transform its tainted image associated with Hatoyama and Ozawa's monumental foibles.

The DPJ's approval ratings have jumped since Kan was chosen by parliament to replace Hatoyama. The former prime minister announced he would be resigning on June 2, following his failure to honor election promises including the relocation of a U.S. air base in Okinawa and his and Ozawa's involvement in political funds scandals, which resulted in public support for the former DPJ leader plunging to below 20 percent.

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