Tag Archives: Seiji Maehara

Maehara’s Misstep May Become Blessing in Japan Leadership Race

Seiji Maehara’s resignation as Japan’s foreign minister on March 6 over a campaign financing violation forced him to put his political ambitions on hold. That setback may turn out to be a blessing.

Five days after he quit, an earthquake and tsunami wrecked Japan’s northeast, killing at least 15,000 people and causing a nuclear disaster that forced 60,000 from their homes. Prime Minister Naoto Kan, blamed by the opposition and Democratic Party of Japan colleagues for a slow reaction to a meltdown at an atomic power plant, has signaled he’ll resign as early as today, paving the way for an Aug. 29 DPJ leadership race.

“Maehara is untainted by the last five months of Kan’s administration and the disaster response,” said Jun Okumura, a senior adviser at the Eurasia Group in Tokyo, who added that Maehara will also benefit from being the public’s favorite to succeed Kan in opinion polls. “Many DPJ Diet members will be making their choice with the next election in mind.”

Read the rest of the story: Maehara’s Misstep May Become Blessing in Japan Leadership Race – Businessweek.

Opposition calls on Japan’s Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara to quit

Japan’s biggest opposition parties Sunday called on Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara to resign for accepting donations from a foreign national, piling more pressure on the embattled government of Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

Maehara, a security hawk who is often cited as a possible successor to the unpopular Kan, has said he would not quit, but added that it was up to the prime minister to decide his fate.

Maehara’s resignation would be a blow to Kan and his ruling Democratic Party (DPJ) as the prime minister fights to keep his own job and avoid calling a snap election while trying to enact budget bills in a divided parliament.

"A foreign minister is at the forefront of negotiations with foreign countries. If a person in that post has taken donations from foreign nationals, resignation is unavoidable," Yosuke Takagi, acting secretary-general of the New Komeito party, said in a televised debate.

New Komeito is the second-largest opposition behind the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

Read the rest of the story: Opposition call on Japan foreign minister to quit over donations.