Tokyo: Japan’s Prime Minister on Monday created two Cabinet posts to oversee the nuclear crisis and tsunami reconstruction efforts as he hopes to shore up his administration against criticism of its handling of the crises.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan named Ryu Matsumoto as reconstruction minister and made Goshi Hosono his minister in charge of handling the crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.
He also gave special advisory positions to two other senior politicians.
The moves are seen as an attempt by Kan to strengthen his hand against a growing number of critics who perceive a lack of leadership following the March 11 disaster.
He has said he would be willing to step down, but only after significant steps are made toward putting Japan’s recovery on a solid footing.
He has also set several preconditions, including the passage of budget bills and a renewable energy measure.
Hosono, who has been director of the government’s nuclear crisis task force, will also be in charge of power conservation.
An electricity shortage is expected in Tokyo because of the nuclear crisis, and the government has taken several steps to prevent problems.
Matsumoto, previously Kan’s environment minister, will be replaced by Justice Minister Satsuki Eda, who will hold a double portfolio.
Popular Cabinet member Renho will become an advisor, along with Shizuka Kamei, the leader of a smaller party in parliament.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano announced the new lineup, in which he also serves administrative reform minister, taking over Renho’s former post. Zeenews