Proper Monitoring

August 30, 2011 12:30 AM

Minister of Finance, NODA Yoshihiko was elected as the new President of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ).

I fear that the new President's energy policy will likely be skewed for its strong support base from those sympathetic towards energy companies within the DPJ. The citizens must be aware of who in the new cabinet will be appointed Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry and the cabinet's approach towards energy policy.

Lobbying by energy companies around the Nagatacho area has once again strengthened. For instance, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) is requesting for a minimum price increase of 10% and has shown no willingness to constrain costs.

On the other hand, within the DPJ there have been rising complaints about the incompetency of current members under chairman Kondo who have formed policy until now. Furthermore, there are those who come to me claiming the need to get rid of heavy electric machinery in the Japan Atomic Energy Commission and seconded employees from energy companies. To me, that sounds like a sound argument. I wonder if the new Prime Minister has the courage to properly review our current energy policy.

The new Prime Minister Noda will be elected tomorrow during the plenary session of the House of Representatives, but according to rumors the cabinetmaking attestation ceremony has been postponed to September 1 at the earliest, and September 5 at the latest.

While the presidential race has been rushed to prevent a political vacuum, the prime minister succession may be far in the future...

The Ministry of Finance would like the extraordinary Diet session to be opened as soon as possible to determine the third supplementary budget, but there are voices of caution within the DPJ to prepare for the attestation ceremony. There are also views to leave a time gap between the UN speech and the attestation ceremony.

Due to the strengthening influence of the Ministry of Finance-led cabinet, there are officials that claim they have been instructed to not interfere with the Ministry of Finance. Political leadership needs to step in and establish some order around here.