DPJ work on Cabinet lineup continues; Maehara, Noda put on shortlist

September 9, 2009 10:30 am 

TOKYO, Sept. 9 — The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) continued work Wednesday to form a new Cabinet as its talks with smaller parties are progressing ahead of an official takeover of power next week.

Party insiders said Vice President Seiji Maehara and Deputy Secretary General Yoshihiko Noda have been added to the lineup of candidates to join the DPJ-led Cabinet that will be launched soon after a special parliamentary session is called next Wednesday.

The DPJ is also considering offering the post of lower house speaker to veteran lawmaker Takahiro Yokomichi, a former Hokkaido governor who served as a vice speaker of the House of Representatives, they said.

DPJ President Yukio Hatoyama, Japan's presumptive prime minister, is expected to speed up the work to form his Cabinet immediately after a coalition accord is reached between his party, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the People's New Party (PNP).

The heads of the SDP and PNP, Mizuho Fukushima and Shizuka Kamei, will likely be offered Cabinet posts.

Hatoyama has already decided to appoint current Secretary General Katsuya Okada as foreign minister and acting President Naoto Kan as minister in charge of the planned National Strategy Bureau, a new body designed to map out budgets and basic policy.

Hirofumi Hirano, Hatoyama's top aide, has been tapped to become chief Cabinet secretary in the incoming government. DPJ policy chief Masayuki Naoshima has been linked to a Cabinet post related to economic affairs while DPJ Supreme Adviser Hirohisa Fujii is being considered for finance minister.

Among other DPJ members being floated for Cabinet positions are deputy policy chief Akira Nagatsuma and House of Councillors lawmaker Takeo Nishioka. (PNA/Kyodo)

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