Well what the Beijing News (jp) reports about it anyhow. On Saturday the Beijing News reported on the candidates vying today for the role of the President of the DPJ and thus Prime Minister of Japan.

Kaieda Banri, the candidate many see as an Ozawa Ichiro proxy, comes out most favoured. The paper reports him to be well disposed towards improving Japan-China relations as well as having a great interest in Chinese culture. The paper reports that Kaieda received his personal name from his father who was a reporter who had spent time in China and Taiwan. “Banri” (万里) uses the same two characters  featured in “the Great Wall of China” (万里の長城) and is himself proficient in Chinese. He has been to China many times in the last 40 years and one of his favourite pieces of Chinese literature is “The Records of the Grand Historian” by Sima Qian (en).

Former Foreign Minister Maehara Seiji and current Finance Minister Noda on the other hand are unsurprisingly seen in a less favourable light. Describing both as pro-American, the paper assumes that Japan-China relations will come under great strain if either is elected to the PM role. It does point that while Maehara might be representative of a new generation of Japanese politicians, they have reservations about his character suggesting it might be weak. Noda is described as a hardliner on history and diplomatic issues and that there is a possibility he might visit the Yasukuni Shrine if elected PM. The paper finishes by merely describing Agriculture Minister Kano Michihiko as having been elected 11 times, and Mabuchi Sumio simply being in the “5 person race.”

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Corey Wallace joined Japan Security Watch in 2011. He writes on Japan security-related topics, focusing on issues and stories that may not find their way into the English language media. He also hosts the blog Sigma1 where he writes on Japanese domestic politics and broader issues in international relations. Prior to taking up a PhD Corey was a participant on the JET program (2004-2007) and on returning to New Zealand he worked at the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology from 2007-2010 as a policy adviser. Corey lectures two courses at the University of Auckland. One is on the international relations of the Asia-Pacific, which contains a significant focus on East Asia security issues. The other is a course on China's international relations. His primary academic interests before his current Japan focus were science and technology politics/policy, issues of ethnic identity, and Chinese modern history and politics. He carries over his interest in issues of identity and history into his PhD where he is looking at generationally situated concepts of national identity and their impact on foreign policy ideas in Japan.
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