Both Houses of the Diet, the Japanese parliament, have (7 December) confirmed Mr. Masayoshi Ohira?
Both Houses of the Diet, the Japanese parliament, have (7 December) confirmed Mr. Masayoshi Ohira as the new Prime Minister. After a close vote, Mr. Ohira takes over from Mr. Takeo Fukuda as the 14th Japanese Prime Minister since World War Two.
SYNOPSIS: The triumphant Mr. Ohira was elected leader of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) last week (1 December), in one of the country's most unexpected political upsets of recent years. This automatically made him a candidate for Prime Minister. After Mr. Fakuda's resignation, the Lower House was set to elect Mr. Ohira on Wednesday (6 December). But disagreement over the nomination of Mr. Kunikichi Saito as Secretary-General of the L.D.P. postponed the vote until Thursday (7 December).
Mr. Fukuda took leave of his Cabinet for the final timer after he reached an eleventh-hour compromise with his successor. The wrangling, which threatened party unity, arose from a gentlemen's agreement made in 1974. The agreement meant a new Prime Minister should not select a member of his own parliamentary faction for Secretary-General, the second most powerful position in the L.D.P. hierarchy.
Mr. Fukuda was elected Prime Minister in 1976. Since then, he has been faced with a growing crisis over Japan's huge trade surplus.