Japan PM: No decision on cabinet reshuffle

Japan hosts the G8 summit of wealthy nations next month, and many have speculated that Fukuda's ruling Liberal Democratic Party could choose to replace him afterwards, or that he might call an election in the autumn.

Japan PM: No decision on cabinet reshuffle
Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said on Monday he had made no decision on a possible cabinet reshuffle, and that pressing on with his policy agenda was more important than calling an election.

Speaking at a news conference to mark the end of a parliamentary session he spent battling the opposition-dominated upper house of parliament to try to pass laws, Fukuda said he needed to choose his timing carefully.

"I have said many times that nothing has been decided, but at this point nothing is decided," Fukuda said, in response to a question about a cabinet reshuffle.

Opinion polls show Fukuda's support rates have risen marginally from lows near 20 percent reached after he re-introduced a hefty gasoline tax and brought in a new national health insurance system that forces some over-75s to pay more than before.

"You asked about calling an election and there are people who believe I should call an election if the political situation changes," he said in response to another question.

"But I have a mountain of policy problems and so I have to ask myself whether it is the right time to call an election.

Japan hosts the G8 summit of wealthy nations next month, and many have speculated that Fukuda's ruling Liberal Democratic Party could choose to replace him afterwards, or that he might call an election in the autumn.

No election need be held until 2009.

Reuters
Last Mod: 23 Haziran 2008, 14:26
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