Gemba Should Succeed Kan as Japan Premier, DPJ Lawmaker Says

Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi, deputy policy chief for the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, comments on who should succeed Prime Minister Naoto Kan when he fulfills a pledge to step down, Kan’s performance and the likelihood of passing his legislative goals.

Yamaguchi, who spoke today in an interview, said he favored National Strategy Minister Koichiro Gemba or Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda as the next prime minister.

On Kan’s leadership:

“I don’t feel his leadership as Prime Minister at all. He should resign as soon as possible.”

On Kan’s successor:

“We should nominate Mr. Gemba or Mr. Noda. I want Mr. Gemba to run and we have gathered a number of his supporters. We’re waiting for the right time.

“It’s not time for a great leader as much as for team work. In that sense, Mr. Gemba is fine and so is Mr. Noda as they’ll both seek the wisdom of bureaucrats and the business circle.”

On when Kan may step down:

“The second stimulus bill will pass, and we’ll negotiate with opposition parties on the deficit-covering bond bill and renewable energy bill. We’ll get them pretty much resolved, if not actually passed” this month. “The end of this month is the limit” for Kan.

To contact the reporters on this story: Sachiko Sakamaki in Tokyo at; Takashi Hirokawa in Tokyo at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg in Hong Kong at

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