Five Enter the Running in Japan’s PM Race

Campaigning for the Democratic Party of Japans presidential election officially kicked off Saturday, with five candidates vying to succeed Prime Minister Naoto Kan.Former Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara, ex-transport minister Sumio Mabuchi, trade minister Banri Kaieda, Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda and farm minister Michihiko Kano have just two days to win over the partys 398 Diet members, who will vote Monday morning.Because Kans two-year term as party president is not slated to end until September 2012, the partys local assembly members and registered supporters are not allowed to participate in the vote.The new party chief is expected to be appointed prime minister as early as Tuesday.

Read the rest of the story: Five face off over policies ahead of poll.

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