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    Maehara’s DPJ remake progressing

    Seiji Maehara’s attempt to cobble together a viable party from the tattered DPJ is summarized by the Yomiuri. Among the interesting tidbits to date:

    Maehara’s appointment of [Yukio] Hatoyama [as secretary general] is expected to be shortly followed by an invitation to [Ichiro] Ozawa to serve as acting president. It is believed the new leader hopes that by including veterans close to Hatoyama and Ozawa he can ensure party unity.

    Hatoyama told reporters Sunday he believed the new leader was keen to ensure party unity, but his preferential treatment of midranking and younger members might cause unrest unless all members felt included.

    A midranking party member said he thought the appointment of Takeaki Matsumoto, Maehara’s fellow national security expert and member of the party’s right wing would have an immediate unifying effect once discussion on national security and constitutional reform got under way.

    Matsumoto, 46, a Tokyo University law graduate, was elected in the proportional representation bloc for Kinki, the third time he has won a lower house seat since 2000. He had held the positions of Policy Research Committee vice chairman and deputy in the shadow cabinet defense portfolio.

    Maehara said in an NHK program Sunday morning that he did not include former SDP lawmakers, who have close relationships with labor unions, because he needed to reconsider the party’s relationship with labor unions, especially public-sector ones.

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