Hatoyama's Challenge in Japan

Toru Hanai / Reuters

Facing reality
The new PM has promises to keep

After Japan's frustrated voters handed power to the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) in the Aug. 30 parliamentary election, many had hopes that the country's new leaders would begin to solve some of the country's intractable economic problems. Among other popular proposals, the new government, led by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, vowed to provide more government assistance for families to promote consumer spending while simultaneously taming the country's ballooning debt, which at nearly 200% of GDP is the highest among rich nations.

But the DPJ is finding it easier to...

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