Yasuo Fukuda

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Ex-Foreign Minister Leads Race to Be Japanese PM

Aso seen as best shot at reuniting split party

(Newser) - Former foreign minister Taro Aso is on course to become Japan's third prime minister in 12 months, Reuters reports. The onetime Olympic sharpshooter says he's the right candidate to take the helm of the Liberal Democratic Party following yesterday's abrupt resignation of Yasuo Fukuda in the face of a political... More »

Japanese PM Resigns

Fukuda hopes move will clear parliamentary gridlock

(Newser) - Yasuo Fukuda has resigned as Japan’s prime minister, the AP reports. Fukuda said he was stepping down to ensure that a special session of parliament to address the economy runs smoothly. Fukuda, whose approval rating is at 29% after less than a year in office, has presided over a... More »

China, India Reject G8 Carbon Plan

Developing countries show impotence of conference

(Newser) - Neither China nor India agreed to adopt the G8's targets for cutting carbon emissions by 2050 at their joint meeting today. Asia's two big developing economies, joined by Brazil, Mexico, and South Africa, said carbon reductions would endanger their growth and exacerbate poverty, and that rich nations should clean up... More »

Under Fire, Japan's PM Won't Bow to Election Calls

Body's censure of Fukuda a post-war first

(Newser) - Japan's prime minister suffered a humiliating blow today in a no-confidence motion passed by the upper house of the country's legislature—a post-war first, the BBC reports. Although the measure isn't politically binding, it's the latest step by the opposition to force Yasuo Fukuda to call new elections, a call... More »

Chinese Prez Back in Tokyo After Decade Without Visit

High on the agenda: new panda for Japan

(Newser) - Chinese President Hu Jintao today began a five-day trip to Japan, where he is expected to discuss a new panda for a popular zoo—and play ping-pong with Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, the BBC reports. The visit is the first by a Chinese president in a decade, and patching up... More »

Opposition Finally Backs New Chief for Bank of Japan

Shirakawa to fill critical spot as stalemate ends

(Newser) - The Democratic Party of Japan has accepted a new central banker just in time for the crucial meeting of G7 finance leaders in Washington on Friday, reports the International Business Times. The top spot has been vacant since March 19, leaving the bank vulnerable during an unsteady economic time. Masaaki... More »

Japan Faces Credit Crisis With No Central Bank Governor

Political standoff leaves BoJ top job vacant

(Newser) - When markets are in chaos and currencies are fluctuating wildly, central bankers jump in to try to provide stability, as Ben Bernanke has done at the Fed. But in Tokyo a political standoff has left the Bank of Japan without a leader at the worst possible moment, reports the AFP.... More »

Blair Pitches Global Climate Pact

Warns change will be irreversible if something isn't done now

(Newser) - Former British prime minister Tony Blair will seek to privately broker a new international agreement to cut carbon emissions by 50% before 2050 that would include China, India and the US, reports the Guardian. Blair has been working on the project with climate change experts since he left office last... More »

Looking for a Real Recession? Try Japan

Once-booming economy stumbles, yet people are 'indifferent'

(Newser) - While economists squabble over a possible US recession, Japan has quietly slipped into one. The country’s postwar riches have all but vanished, the Washington Post reports, as its GDP tumbles from fourth to twentieth among the world’s countries and its share of the world’s economy dips from... More »

Fukuda in China to Thaw Frosty Relations

After strain, Japanese PM's charm offensive delights Beijing

(Newser) - Yasuo Fukuda is in Beijing, where the Japanese PM is hoping to solidify improved relations between two countries with a troubled past.  In contrast to his two predecessors, Fukuda is a pro-Asian leader; as he reminds his Chinese hosts, his own father brought in the Japan-China peace treaty 29... More »

Fukuda Govt Roiled by Scandal

Current finance minister tied to bribery bust of former defense honcho

(Newser) - In a growing corruption scandal, a former vice defense minister and his wife were arrested today over charges that he awarded contracts to companies that wined and dined him, the AP reports. Takemasa Moriya admits he enjoyed free golf trips and expensive dinners on the tab of the recently arrested... More »

Bush, Japanese PM Boost Ties

Leaders offer assurances on Afghanistan, North Korea

(Newser) - President Bush and new Japanese PM Yasuo Fukuda today vowed to reconcile hot-button issues concerning North Korea and Afghanistan that have strained relations, Reuters reports. In his first visit to the White House, Fukuda pledged to do his "utmost" to renew a refueling mission for coalition forces in Afghanistan,... More »

Bush's Japan Policy Lost in Translation

Expect discord as new PM arrives in US for weekend summit

(Newser) - As President Bush welcomes the third Japanese prime minister in 3 years to Washington today, a former Tokyo correspondent writes in the Los Angeles Times that current difficulties with arguably our most important ally stem from a fundamental Bush misunderstanding. W has confused Japan with the US's other "special... More »

Japanese PM Pushes Restart of Afghan Duty

Bill passes one house, but showdown could still trigger an early election

(Newser) - The lower house of Japan's Diet approved a bill today that would resume the country's naval support for the war in Afghanistan. The legislation, pushed through just days before PM Yasuo Fukuda travels to Washington, will allow the Japanese self-defense force to refuel American ships on their way to the... More »

US Urges Japan to Return to Afghanistan

Japanese naval contribution halted by domestic politics

(Newser) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates urged Japan today to resume a naval support mission for US operations in Afghanistan, Reuters reports. Japan has conducted refueling operations in the region for the past six years at a cost of approximately $195 million. The mission was stopped earlier this month after an opposition... More »

Japanese Opposition Leader Un-Quits

About-face after 2 days reflects party pressure, government turmoil

(Newser) - The leader of Japan's opposition party has withdrawn his resignation after 2 days of wrangling in the country's latest political crisis, Bloomberg reports. "This is truly embarrassing," a party official quoted Ichiro Ozawa as saying. The Democratic Party of Japan had asked Ozawa to reconsider, fearing a split... More »

Japanese Party Scrambles to Keep Boss to Dodge Chaos

Opposition chief to quit amid deadlock mess

(Newser) - Members of Japan's opposition party are pleading with their leader to rethink his announced resignation, fearing the move will break up the party and hurt its chances at the polls. The head of the Democratic Party of Japan said he would resign yesterday after the party leadership resoundingly voted to... More »

250 Taliban Surrounded, Villagers Flee

But Afghan mission loses support of Japanese ships ordered home

(Newser) - Some 250 Taliban fighters are surrounded by coalition troops just 15 miles north of the Taliban’s old power base of Kandahar, the AP reports. Villagers fled as the insurgents took over their homes. “They’re surrounded and in big trouble,” said Kandahar police. But the coalition lost... More »

Japan Backs Off Support of Afghan War

Standoff with domestic opposition leaves PM in hot water with US

(Newser) - Japan's PM is being forced to withdraw the country's support for coalition forces in Afghanistan because the opposition party refuses to back the mission without UN support. Yasuo Fukuda's party could swing the votes for an override, but doing so would probably lead to an early election—which Fukuda might... More »

Violent Face-Off Rages in Burma

Soldiers open fire again, cut internet connections

(Newser) - A brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters continued after a bloody confrontation yesterday when soldiers shot dead at least nine people,  including a Japanese news photographer. Troops again opened fire on demonstrators today, cut internet connections and sealed monasteries as crowds defied orders from the ruling military junta to disperse.... More »

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