The re-modelled Japanese government has made its media debut. The Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda is hoping the new look will improve the sorry state of his popularity rating with voters. But so far the media verdict has not been promising.
Central to his reshuffle are a new number two, and new finance and economics ministers, as Japan’s economy is rapidly slowing, and the population rapidly aging.
The new economics chiefs will have to fund rising welfare costs and deal with recession threats.
The second in command Taro Aso, now Secretary- General, is a key rival to the prime minister who is seen as indecisive — a perception which has increased in importance as fuel and food prices have spiralled.
It remains to be seen if the prime minister has done enough by bringing back veteran politicians, and embracing his rival, said to be a fan of Manga comics, to save his own political career.