Hosono withdrawal gives Prime Minister a boost

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s political party affiliation is secure, at least for the future, as his challenger decided not to run for the Democratic Party of Japan presidency.

Noda is slated to run for reelection in the September 21st DPJ election, promising to stay the course of implementing fiscal and administrative reforms, while pressing ahead with reconstruction projects in the aftermath of last year’s Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. “I can’t leave half-done these things that are so important for Japan,” he told fellow politicians, vowing “I will continue to wrestle with Japan’s remaining problems and work to overcome them.”

The Prime minister continues to talk timing for dissolution of the Lower House. He’s refused to talk about snap elections, although some observers still believe he could be ready once he gets key bills needed for the fiscal 2012 budget under control.

Environment Minister Goshi Hosono had planned to run against Noda for the party presidency, but backed down, and says he’s decided to stand by the Prime Minister. “I cannot neglect my current duties,” he said, noting “new problems surface on a daily basis in the disaster area and I must continue to deal with them.”