人生の軌跡を綴っていきます


by yu-fen-sun
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Hatoyama becomes prime minister

New leader launches tripartite (3党が参加した) Cabinet, vows 'drastic change'

Japan saw the beginning of a new political era Wednesday as Democratic Party of Japan President Yukio Hatoyama became prime minister, putting an end to five decades of almost unbroken rule by the Liberal Democratic Party.

The nation's 93rd prime minister inaugurated (開始する) his Cabinet, kicking off a tripartite coalition with the Social Democratic Party and Kokumin Shinto (People's New Party).

"Today is the beginning of a new turning point in history, a day to start a drastic change in the framework (枠組) of politics and the government," Hatoyama said at a DPJ meeting. "Let's actively work together to make sure that future historians will say that today was a wonderful day."

This could be the start of a two-party political system in Japan after nearly half a century of virtual one-party rule.

Hatoyama said the road from this point forward will not be easy and asked his fellow party members to maintain unity (団結) through the rough times ahead.

"We are about to enter an unknown world, and I think it will be a repeat of the process of trial and error (試行錯誤)," Hatoyama said.

Hatoyama appointed (任命する) former DPJ President Naoto Kan as state strategy minister and vice prime minister, making the veteran lawmaker a cornerstone (礎) of his new government.

Kan will head the National Strategy Bureau, a policymaking organization that will be designed to help the DPJ rein in civil servants (公務員). Kan and Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii will be the key players in bringing about change in the way policies are implemented and budgets compiled, observers said.

With the launch of the strategy bureau, "the Cabinet will now be able to prioritize policies without having to consider the vested interests (既得権益) of the ministries and its bureaucrats," said Hidekazu Kawai, a professor emeritus of comparative politics at Gakushuin University in Tokyo.

"Power may now return to the hands of politicians from bureaucrats," he said.

Former DPJ Secretary General Katsuya Okada was appointed foreign minister, and Hirofumi Hirano, a close Hatoyama aide (助手), became chief Cabinet secretary (官房長官) — the government's top spokesman and the prime minister's right-hand man.

Akira Nagatsuma, one of the most popular DPJ members, who revealed that the government had lost millions of pension records, was tapped as (~に選ばれる) health minister. Upper House lawmaker and former DPJ member Keiko Chiba got the justice minister's slot.

Kawai pointed out that Hatoyama has drawn on a wide range of members from within the DPJ, including Yoshito Sengoku as government reform minister and Seiji Maehara as infrastructure minister, who have distanced themselves from newly appointed DPJ Secretary General (幹事長) Ichiro Ozawa.

"This isn't a team that will only be known for a single star player, like Ichiro Suzuki," Kawai said. "It's rather a well-balanced team, with all the players asked to play their best."

SDP leader Mizuho Fukushima is now a minister in charge of consumer affairs, the birthrate problem, food safety and gender equality.

The position of defense minister (防衛大臣) went to DPJ Upper House lawmaker Toshimi Kitazawa, who is now tasked to coordinate defense policies the SDP, a pacifist (平和主義の) party.

The SDP is against all overseas dispatch of the Self-Defense Force and Kitazawa and the DPJ will have to find other ways to contribute as a member of the international society.

Kokumin Shinto chief Shizuka Kamei, a former heavyweight (大物政治家) in the LDP, was concurrently (兼任して) appointed to serve as the postal and financial affairs ministers.

Kamei and his small party oppose postal privatization, and he was looking to acquire the internal affairs and communications portfolio so postal services would fall under his jurisdiction (管轄区内の).

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Taro Aso and his Cabinet resigned en masse (総辞職する) in the morning, marking the end of their 358-day rule.

Throughout his term, Aso struggled with a plunging support rate largely triggered by his verbal gaffes (失言) and policy flip-flops (政策のブレ). Under his leadership, the LDP was crushed in the Aug. 30 election to nearly one-third its Lower House strength.

"Nearly a year has passed since the inauguration last September, and I would like to, once again, express my gratitude to the people for their support," Aso said at his final news conference.

"I promised the people that I would create a strong and cheerful Japan. Although one year was a very short period of time, I believe I did my best for Japan."

鳩山新内閣発足しましたね。
さあ、新しい日本の始まりとなるのでしょうか。
冷静に政府の仕事ぶりを見ていかないといけませんね。
by yu-fen-sun | 2009-09-16 23:16 | 英語関連