Japan’s Incoming PM Seeks Early Meeting With Obama

Posted August 31st, 2011 at 2:10 am (UTC-5)
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Incoming Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda says he is seeking an early meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama.

Mr. Noda, who is busy putting together his cabinet ahead of a swearing-in ceremony this week, said Wednesday he expressed his desire for a meeting in a telephone conversation with U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Japanese officials said they are trying to set up a meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York next month.

The incoming Japanese leader said he spoke to Geithner to seek his support for whoever is named to succeed Mr. Noda as finance minister. Mr. Noda, a fiscal conservative, and his new finance minister face daunting problems trying to reinvigorate a long-stagnant economy amid the after-effects of Japan's March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Mr. Noda was chosen Monday as leader of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and confirmed Tuesday as prime minister in a vote by parliament. He succeeds Naoto Kan, who announced his resignation late last week amid deep public disapproval of his handling of the earthquake and the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.