Goshi Hosono, the Secretary-General for the Democratic Party of Japan, and one of the country's few popular politicians, has called on the government to end its ban on using the internet during election campaign periods. At a press conference on Monday, Hosono said the law should be changed before the next Upper House election, due to be held this summer.
The Democratic Party of Japan has scheduled an election on December 22 to choose a new leader to take the place of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who will be resigning as head of the party after suffering a huge defeat in Japan's general elections last Sunday.
The government should make a policy not to use for other purposes the budget that has been set for the reconstruction of areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. This was the remark made on Fuji TV on October 14 by Goshi Hosono, policy research committee chair for the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ).
Jun Azumi, the Japanese Finance Minister, stated on Monday that he would be stepping down from his financial leadership position in order to play a different role in the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is continuing to adjust the lineup of his Cabinet prior to general elections being held, and he says Azumi will be taking over as the top deputy secretary general. A replacement head for the Finance Ministry has yet to be found, however, signaling that ambiguous economic policies won't coming to an end anytime soon.
The Japanese government announced on Tuesday that the nation's new nuclear safety body will make its long-awaited debut next week, on September 19th. Officials say they cannot delay any longer the setup of the new industry regulator, and Shunichi Tanaka will be appointed to lead the commission. The controversial radiation physics expert was also named as a special advisor to the Cabinet, despite failing to gain approval from Parliament earlier this summer.
Three members of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) announced on Monday that they would be challenging Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in elections next week for the position of party leader. In Japan, party elections are required to be held every two years, regardless of whether the prime minister's term is finished or not, but once someone is elected to be a party leader, they are guaranteed the position of prime minister. While there was a threat from a potential serious rival last week, that candidate has bowed out, leaving Noda almost assured to retain his position.
Contrary to the expectations on Thursday, Environment Minister Goshi Hosono announced on Friday that he would not be running for president of the Democratic National Party (DPJ) later this month. Such a move would have him challenging the current party leader, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. Sources say that on Thursday, 41 year Hosono was asked by several DPJ lawmakers to try to run for election, as the party needs someone young to take charge and end the constant stalemate with the opposing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).
The Nikkei business news has reported that a group of large Japanese companies, including Toshiba, Hitachi, JFE Steel, and three others, have agreed to investment 120 billion yen (approx. $1.53 billion) over the next decade in the renewable energy from offshore wind turbines. The project is being planned with an expected output capacity of 300,000 kilowatts. While final construction sites have yet to be decided, among those considered are the areas off the coast of Japan's southwestern Kyushu region.
The Japanese government announced on Thursday that Shunichi Tanaka, a radiation physics expert, has been appointed to lead the nation's new nuclear safety regulator. This move is a way for the government to move forward in trying to regain the public's trust in nuclear power, and the agencies that oversee its use, that was lost in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis. This may be wishful thinking on the part of the government, as the parliamentary report that unveiled collusion between industry regulators, politicians, and utility companies, along with the restart of two nuclear reactors this month, has resulted in an all-time high anti-nuclear sentiment among the Japanese people.