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Tuesday, 26th August 2008
In General Japan News,

Minister defends 'unpopular' PM

Japan's consumer affairs minister has jumped to the defence of the nation's prime minister following suggestions that he is too unpopular to win the next election.

Seiko Noda has been touted as a possible replacement for Yasuo Fukuda, with elections due to take place in the next 12 months.

Food safety, bribery at the defence ministry and missing pension records have all been issues affecting the Liberal Democratic government.

However, Ms Noda told the Foreign Correspondent's Club that any ideas of popularity should be dismissed when it comes to judging the country's leader.

"Prime minister Fukuda is the type to quietly get things done, not the type for flashy performances," she said.

She also welcomed the premier's introduction of a consumer affairs agency, to become operational in 2009.

The agency's main role will be to judge the risk of food products and pesticides, Ms Noda was quoted as saying by Bloomberg.

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