Finance Minister Noda to run for DPJ leadership


Finance Minister Yoshihiiko Noda

TOKYO (majirox news) — Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda is poised to announce his candidacy for leadership of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) once current Prime Minister Naoto Kan steps down from office.

Jostling in the race to succeed Kan, who has pledged to step down once passage of special legislation to help fund recovery from the March 11 disasters has passed through the Diet, has focused on the issue of whether to increase the consumption tax rate from its current 5%.

Noda has stated he favors raising the tax, a stance likely to draw the ire of opponents such as former Transport Minister Sumio Mabuchi and one-time Environment Minister Sakihito Ozawa.

“It’s important to deal with a proper and concrete plan rather than put the issue aside for a later date,” Noda said, referring to the debate about raising the consumption tax rate.

Noda will release his plans for running the country in an edition of the Bungei Shunju monthly magazine to go on sale from Aug. 10.

Noda is believed to have the backing of core DPJ members who supported Kan, including Secretary-General Katsuya Okada and Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku.

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