It would seem that the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which might be key in the selection of Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) new chief, is not looking to appoint someone who is an advocate of extreme measures towards the reflation of the economy. Seiji Maehara told Reuters in an interview that even so, they will not outright discount Toshiro Muto in the race. When asked, however, if other members of the party have similar sentiments, he dodged a direct answer.
Japanese Minister of Economy Seiji Maehara revealed on Friday that there were no plans to bail out any of the country's struggling electronics manufacturers, even as the worst-hit Sharp questions its own survival in the near future. Maehara said that Panasonic and Sharp, who will have combined annual losses of over $15 billion, would be wise not to expect a taxpayer-funded rescue that Japan Airlines received when it went bankrupt, or even TEPCO, the utility responsible for the Fukushima nuclear plant, which the government took a majority control over earlier this year.
Japan's new Economics Minister, Seiji Maehara, stated on Friday that due to new laws, the recently formed Nuclear Regulation Authority has the power approve the restart of nuclear reactors if they meet safety requirements. As the government used to have the final say, this greatly added to the confusion about how much nuclear power will be used following the Fukushima disaster. While the majority of the Japanese public has made its opposition to nuclear power clear, the Economics Ministry has view that idled reactors could be a good source of energy for now.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced his new reshuffled cabinet on Monday afternoon, including the appointment of senior Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) member Koriki Jojima to be the new Finance Minister. The change in lineup is seen as a hopeful way for Noda to begin salvaging the damaged ties with China, as well as boost his party's declining popularity. Koichiro Genba, the current Foreign Minister, was one of the party's mainstays that kept his position.
As Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his Cabinet work this week to decide on the future energy policy for Japan and how much of a role nuclear power should play, Daniel Poneman, the United States' Deputy Secretary of Energy, has shared concerns about the goal of reaching zero nuclear usage by the 2030s. On Tuesday, Poneman met with the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)'s policy chief, Seiji Maehara, and said that if Japan tries to make such drastic efforts, it could have unexpected results in the U.S. and other countries.
On Thursday the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) stated it was adopting a policy of working towards a country free of nuclear power. Seiji Maehara, the party's policy research chief, stated that if possible, they would like to reach that goal by the 2030s. But slow down for just a moment, notice the "s" on the end of that date, meaning there still may be nuclear reactors in use up until the year 2039. Also notice this coming shortly before general elections, where the DPJ is expected to lose its control, and seems desperate to appeal to the public.
Sources in the government say that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has plans to extend the current Diet session beyond its current end date of June 21st until sometime in early August. This would be done in order to ensure the passage of newly agreed upon bills that would reform the country's social security program and double the 5% sales tax. The prime minister has the power to extend sessions of parliament by roughly 50 days in order to give enough time for the opposition-controlled Upper House to complete their deliberations.
Concerning the issue of raising consumption tax during the current diet, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda wavers between two major options. Despite his widely publicized determination to pass the bill during the current diet, he still does not seem to have decided between his options. First option is to convince Former Leader of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Ichiro Ozawa to stop opposing the tax increase. The second option is to bring along Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to support the current bill. Either path is rather thorny.
Seiji Maehara, the Democratic Party of Japan's policy chief said on Sunday that it would be worth having Diet discussions on lower tax rates for daily necessities.