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SEPTEMBER 7, 2009 DPJ Starts to List Key Policy Makers

Mr. Fujii's potential appointment raises the possibility that a new international financial ministerial post would be created, focused on dealing with overseas governments on matters such as foreign exchange. Mr. Fujii has said such a job would be necessary because the regular finance minister would be busy trying to push through the DPJ's promised domestic policies, leaving little time for international matters.

"It's important to ask someone versed in international finance to enter our potential cabinet ... a person who can engage in debate on an equal footing with central players [of other major countries] in international finance," said Mr. Fujii, a veteran member of Parliament's Lower House, in an interview last month.

For many decades in Japan, foreign-exchange and other cross-border financial policies have been largely designed and handled not by politicians, but by bureaucrats in the finance ministry. Several government officials have said an international finance minister with no mandate over domestic fiscal policy would be too powerless to arrange global macroeconomic policy with Japan's Group of Seven or Group of 20 counterparts.

Another official noted that Mr. Fujii's plan could succeed if the new politically appointed minister simply takes over the responsibility of the vice finance minister for international affairs, a top bureaucratic post, and participates in key global meetings with the main finance minister. That system would be similar to the U.S.'s, where a political appointee often becomes Treasury undersecretary for international affairs.

副大臣はたしかdeputy ministerだったけ。つまり、財務官はそのままおいて、副大臣の一人をdeputy finance minister for international affairsとして財務官の仕事を肩代わりさせればいいんだよね。問題は人材。すぐにできるのはMr. Yenぐらいのようなものだが、さぁ受けるかなぁ。もしくは、民主党に日銀副総裁を拒否されたお方?興味津々。


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