News Prime Minister Fukuda to Govern without Manga Fan Asō
posted on 2007-09-25 14:43 EDT
The Japanese parliament confirmed Yasuo Fukuda as the 91st Prime Minister of Japan Tuesday after he won the internal leadership election of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) over manga fan Tarō Asō. The more moderate Fukuda said he asked Asō, the nationalistic former foreign minister, to serve in his cabinet, but Asō declined, citing the desire to rest after serving in cabinet posts since 2003. Fukuda said he will talk with Asō again.
Nobutaka Machimura, who served as foreign minister from 2004 to 2005 immediately before Asō and from August until September 2007 after Asō, will be replaced by Masahiko Kōmura. It is not known whether Kōmura will continue advocating the government's use of manga as Asō had. Fukuda's Cabinet is otherwise little changed from his predecessor's.
Fukuda faces a divided parliament and a divided nation, who had voted to take away the LDP's majority in the parliament's Upper House in July. The Upper House had actually voted for Ichirō Ozawa of the rival Democratic Party of Japan for prime minister, but the Lower House's choice of Fukuda prevailed as per the Japan's Constitution. It was the first time in nine years that the houses split in their choices.