Japan Cabinet resigns to clear the way for new PM

Japan Cabinet resigns to clear the way for new PM

PanARMENIAN.Net - Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's Cabinet resigned Wednesday, Dec 26, to clear the way for a vote in parliament to formally install the nation's new leader, Shinzo Abe, a conservative whose nationalist positions have in the past angered Japan's neighbors, The Associated Press reports.

Noda's fall ends more than three years at the helm for the left-leaning Democratic Party of Japan and brings back the more conservative, pro-big business Liberal Democratic Party, which governed Japan for most of the post-World War II era until voters fed up with scandals and Japan's sagging economy tossed them out in 2009.

In announcing the resignations, the chief government spokesman said the incoming government will face many tough issues and said he hoped they would deal with them "appropriately."

Capitalizing on the Democrats' failure to improve the economy and its perceived lack of strong leadership, Abe led the Liberal Democratic Party to victory in parliamentary elections Dec 16. He was to be named prime minister later Wednesday. He was also prime minister in 2006-2007.

Abe has vowed to take bold measures to shore up the economy, deal with a swelling national debt and come up with a recovery plan following last year's devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crises.

"The Liberal Democratic Party has changed," he told a news conference Tuesday. "We are not the party we once were."

He has already named a roster of top party executives that includes two women — more than previous LDP administrations — and is younger than earlier ones, with three of the four in their 50s.

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