Japan’s PM Says No Flights Until Osprey Confirmed Safe

Japan’s prime minister says he will not allow any flights of the US military’s latest transport aircraft in this country until its safety after two recent crashes has been confirmed.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told Parliament on Tuesday that no flights would take place until investigations into the April and June crashes were completed and Japan was satisfied the aircraft are not a safety hazard.

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Japan’s leader vows to bring rebirth to Fukushima area, revive economy

Japan’s prime minister pledged Wednesday in his traditional new year’s press conference to bring “rebirth” to the area around the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said authorities would work to decontaminate the region from radioactive fallout, while ensuring compensation and health checks for those affected by the disaster.



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( Shizuo Kambayashi / Associated Press ) – Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda smiles during his first news conference of the year at his official residence in Tokyo Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012.

“These three pillars will bring the rebirth of Fukushima,” he said. Noda gave no timeframe, and government officials have said it may be years or even decades before many of the 100,000 residents displaced by the disaster can return.

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Japan’s PM Says ‘Biggest Hurdle’ this year is to Pass Social Welfare and Sales Tax Bills

Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said revamping the country’s tax and social welfare system is his top legislative priority of the year as he struggles to overcome opposition to doubling the sales tax by 2015.

“Our biggest hurdle is the unified reform of social security and taxes,” Noda said in Tokyo at his first press conference of the year. “This is something we can no longer postpone.”

Noda’s Democratic Party of Japan last week proposed raising the 5 percent consumption tax to 8 percent in April 2014 and 10 percent in October 2015 to help pay for soaring welfare costs as the population ages. Nine DPJ lawmakers left the party in revolt and the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party called for an election before considering legislation on the issue.

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Noda, Japan’s PM, says he is bottom feeder

The 54-year-old, who as finance minister kept to plodding statements so as not to spook financial markets, stresses his credentials as a responsible, moderate and middle-of-the road leader at a time of national crisis.When he announced his candidacy in an essay in a conservative magazine this month, Noda said: I am an ordinary man. I do not have large financial resources… I am not stylish and my looks are not my selling point.On Monday, making his final pitch for the leadership of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, he used the fish metaphor, humbly telling his fellow DPJ MPs: I am a loach. I cant be a goldfish.

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