Former top gov't spokesman to become Japan's new industry minister

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VOV News English - 41 month(s) ago 1 readings

Former chief Cabinet secretary Yukio Edano will become Japan's new industry minister, replacing Yoshio Hachiro, who resigned after making insensitive remarks over people affected by the Fukushima nuclear crisis, chief Cabinet secretary Osamu Fujimura announced on September 12.

The appointment will be approved by Emperor Akihito later in the day.

Edano and his ministry faces the urgent need to tackle various issues, including bringing the Fukushima nuclear crisis under control and drafting compensation for those affected by the accident, as well as a review of the nation's energy policy.

Edano has been dealing with the nuclear crisis, triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, when he was chief Cabinet secretary in former prime minister Naoto Kan's government.

He frequently briefed the press on the latest development about the nuclear disaster and was praised for his diligence after the March catastrophe.

"Edano should be the most appropriate person to fill the position given his experiences in dealing with the crisis," Mainichi Shimbun newspaper quoted a ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) official as saying.

Hachiro resigned on September 10, only eight days after he assumed the post. He was under fire after describing areas near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant as a "town of death" and joking about radiation leakage from the plant earlier in the presence of reporters.

Hachiro later apologized for the remarks and vowed to "work hard" as minister in charge of the country's economy, trade and industry. But the pressure for his exit has been mounting not only from the residents affected by the nuclear crisis but also from his DPJ colleagues and opposition parties.

Nuclear energy contributes 30 percent of Japan's total power output. Currently only 11 out of the 54 nuclear reactors are operating.

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