The nice folks at The Diplomat have published my morning ruminations on the challenges facing Noda Yoshihiko as he makes his personnel choices for both the Democratic Party of Japan and the Cabinet (Link).
In the meantime, Koshiishi Azuma, after initially turning the offer of the post down, has succumbed to Noda's entreaties and will become the party's new secretary-general. It is a bit of sweet revenge: Koshiishi has been advocating the lifting of Ozawa Ichiro's suspension. Now Koshiishi will be the one in the hot seat who actually has to sign off on the lifting of the disciplinary measure, then pray that the opposition does not go into "politics and money" feeding frenzy.
Be careful what you wish for, in other words.
Noda has also asked former foreign minister Maehara Seiji to become the party's policy research chief. Maehara is considering offer.
Ooops, news flash coming in.
Holy moley! NHK is reporting that Noda is making sure that no one could accuse him of discrimination, even on the basis of ability. According NHK's sources, Noda has asked Hatoyama Yukio confidant Hirano "the Worst Chief Cabinet Secretary Ever" Hirofumi (en) to be the DPJ's Diet Affairs Committee Chairman (kokkai taisaku incho).
I know Noda has to reach out to Ozawa and Hatoyama -- but choosing Hirano for anything is a leap into the dark.
Video: A Look at North Korea from its Neighbors
50 minutes ago