Monday, June 14, 2010

"Kan Is A Japan Rarity: A Lawyer PM

"In the U.S., the current president, vice-president, first lady and secretary of state are all lawyers. More than 40% of the members of Congress hold law degrees, in fact. Finally, they have some like-minded counterparts at the top of the Japanese government.

"Prime Minister Naoto Kan (pictured) is the first “benrishi” lawyer to be prime minister in Japan since World War II, “benrishi” being licensed to handle patents — such as for his Mahjong machine — and other intellectual property matters.

"Kan’s top aide, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku, is a “bengoshi”, or general lawyer. Altogether, the Kan “irregular militia” cabinet has four lawyers, the same number as the final Hatoyama cabinet it replaced, and the new secretary general of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, Yukio Edano, is also a lawyer.

"That’s quite a sea change from the last administration in the Liberal Democrat Party’s nearly 50-year rule: Taro Aso had no lawyers in his cabinet at all. (...)"

By Peter Landers (Japan Real Time/WSJ, 6/10/2010), Link to article (last visited 6/14/2010)

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