Japan PM Noda to face fringe contenders in party race
TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda will face three fringe contenders for one of the worst jobs around - leading the demoralised ruling party to almost certain crushing election defeat.
The Democratic Party election commission confirmed on Monday that besides Mr Noda, former farm ministers Hirotaka Akamatsu and Michihiko Kano and an ex-internal affairs minister Kazuhiro Haraguchi would run in the Sept 21 leadership contest.
With no party heavyweights on the roster, Mr Noda is likely to retain his post as government and party chief.
In his election pledge, Mr Noda said he would bring a lasting end to deflation that has plagued Japan for a decade and hit a 1 per cent inflation target within a year. He also promised to work towards ending reliance on nuclear power, though he gave no deadline.