时事风云 | 2010.06.04
作者：Stephan Stickelmann / Christian Walz/ 苗子
Japan Elects a New Premier, Fifth in Four Years
Published: June 4, 2010TOKYO — Naoto Kan, a plain-spoken finance minister with activist roots, was elected prime minister on Friday, making him the fifth Japanese leader in four years.
Mr. Kan, 63, won a vote in the lower house of Parliament and will now go through the formality of being appointed by Emperor Akihito.
Earlier Friday, hoping for a second chance to fulfill a historic election mandate for change, the governing Democratic Party selected Mr. Kan to succeed Yukio Hatoyama, who resigned on Wednesday over broken campaign pledges.
Mr. Kan faces an uphill task in trying to win back the public support that Mr. Hatoyama had squandered in months of indecision over the fate of an American military base. He must also help the party regain the momentum it had in August after winning a landslide election victory that ended a half-century of virtual one-party rule.
Known for his quick temper, Mr. Kan gained national attention in the mid-1990s when, as health minister, he exposed his own ministry’s use of blood tainted with H.I.V. In the Hatoyama administration, he also served as deputy prime minister and was a point man in the party’s push to rein in the secretive central ministries that have run Japan since World War II.
The cabinet resigned Friday morning to clear the way for the new prime minister to appoint a new cabinet.
Before Friday’s party vote, Mr. Kan vowed to refocus the party on its original goal of ending Japan’s two-decade stagnation. He said he would do this by tackling two of Japan’s most daunting problems, its anemic growth rates and ballooning public debt.
“I will carry on the torch of reviving Japan that the Democratic Party received from the people,” he said.
Touching on his predecessor’s difficulties, he said he would honor an agreement to relocate a United States Marine air base on Okinawa and work to rebuild trust between the allies. But he also said he would place equal emphasis on improving ties with China, with whom Japan now has larger trade relations.
In Friday’s party vote, Mr. Kan defeated Shinji Tarutoko, a relatively unknown legislator backed by the party’s shadowy power broker, Ichiro Ozawa. Mr. Kan won with 291 votes to Mr. Tarutoko’s 129.
Mr. Kan promised to move the party away from the sort of money politics that the scandal-tainted Mr. Ozawa had come to represent.
By choosing Mr. Kan, the party was apparently betting that his background as a former civil rights activist and veteran battler of Japan’s powerful bureaucrats would make him a more forceful leader than the indecisive and professorial Mr. Hatoyama.
Mr. Kan is the latest in what has been nearly a turnstile procession of prime ministers in recent years. Shinzo Abe served exactly one year, resigning under pressure in September 2007. He was succeeded by Yasuo Fukuda and then Taro Aso, each of whom served about one year. Mr. Hatoyama took office on Sept. 16, 2009.