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Japan's ruling party unveils new leadership lineup under Noda

TOKYO, Aug. 31 — Japan's ruling Democratic Party unveiled its new leadership under President Yoshihiko Noda, with Azuma Koshiishi, a close ally of party power broker Ichiro Ozawa, taking the No. 2 post as secretary general.

DPJ lawmakers from both chambers of the Diet approved the appointment of key posts proposed by Noda. In the new lineup, former Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara will act as policy chief, former Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano as Diet affairs chief, and Shinji Tarutoko,former chairman of Diet affairs, as acting secretary general.

Appointing Koshiishi, the 75-year-old leader of the caucus of DPJ legislators in the House of Councillors, as the party's No.2 is seen as a move to bridge the rift between pro and anti-Ozawa camps in the party, political observers said.

Fiscal hawk Noda was elected party chief and then Japan's sixth prime minister in five years following a victory in an election runoff against Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda on Monday. (PNA/Xinhua) DCT/eds

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