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      Japan's Former Foreign Minister Declares His Candidacy for PM

      Seiji Maehara, the former Japanese Foreign Minister, is now the favorite to win the August 29 balloting to succeed Naoto Kan.
      By Aryeh ben Hayim
      First Publish: 8/23/2011, 5:22 PM

      Seijii Maehara has, as expected, put his hat in the ring for the post of the  Democratic Party of Japan's leader and Japan's Prime Minister. Until recently Maehara had tacitly supported Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda, in the leadership contest

      His mind may have been changed by results of a recent Kyoto News survey that showed Maehara far outstripping Noda in terms of public support with 28 percent against Noda's puny 4.8 percent.

      If selected ,Maehara, aged 49, would be the youngest postwar Prime Minister. He is considered a master of television appearance and even earned the title "the Japanese Tony Blair".

      He has promised to unite his party and one way he hopes to do so is to favor growth over taxation. This raises the question of whether the global financial markets will allow him to pursue such a policy.

      The balloting in the Democratic Party of Japan  has been set for August 29.