Business, Finance & Economics

Japan's Noda unveils new cabinet


Japan Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, pictures here while he was still finance minister, faces a divided government that has been significantly weakened by nuclear disaster.


Alex Wong

Japan's new Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Friday unveiled his cabinet – which he hopes will help him steer the country through its economic slump and ongoing nuclear crisis.

Noda is also looking to heal divisions and calm political in-fighting in the ruling Democratic Party of Japan.

The Japan Times reported that Noda called for cooperation from lawmakers who were critical of the previous leadership.

Among the top appointments were Jun Azumi, a former journalist, as finance minister, and Yoshio Hachiro as trade minister.

The new foreign minister is Koichiro Gemba, who worked on redrafting Japan’s energy policy in the previous administration. Motohisa Furukawa was given the economics portfolio.

Noda retained Goshi Hosono as minister in charge of handling the ongoing Fukushima nuclear crisis.

(Read more on GlobalPost: Does Japan's new PM have what it takes?)

Noda, Japan's former finance minister, took over the top job after his predecessor Naoto Kan resigned following public anger about his handling of March's quake and tsunami.

He is the country's sixth prime minister in five years, and tasked with resolving the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl, as well as protecting the country's economy as the yen currency soars.

The BBC reports that Japan's economic slowdown meant the decision over who would take charge of key ministries such as finance, economics and trade has been “keenly watched”.