Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Japan: two ministers will be responsible for reconstruction and the nuclear crisis

Japanese Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, has reshuffled his government Monday, June 27, creating two new ministries in charge of reconstruction in the north-east and the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Ryu Matsumoto, 60, who was previously environment minister, was appointed Minister of Reconstruction in the Tohoku (northeast) region devastated by the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, which have a twenty-three thousand dead or missing.

Mr. Kan has also promoted his special adviser Goshi Hosono, 39, as Minister responsible for the nuclear power plant in Fukushima Daiichi was severely damaged by the wave of 14 meters high which caused the interruption of cooling , causing the most serious crisis since the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in 1986.

The Minister of Justice, Satsuki Eda, was responsible for monitoring environmental issues. The Minister for Administrative Reform, Ms. Renho, the only woman of the government, lost his wallet and became Special Advisor to the Prime Minister. Indeed, the law limits to seventeen the number of ministers.

Mr. Kan, 64, whose popularity is at its lowest, is under intense pressure from the opposition and some of his camp to resign. At a press conference Monday, he announced he would step down after the adoption of a supplementary budget for the reconstruction of a law authorizing the issue of treasury bills and finally d a draft law on renewable energy.

His departure could take place before the end of the parliamentary session, which was unusually prolonged until the end of August.

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