New Japanese Prime Minister, New Obama Adviser

Japan's finance minister moves to the prime minister's office after the country's ruling party voted him in Monday. Yoshihiko Noda is known as a fiscal hawk. And, President Obama is expected to nominate a Princeton University labor economist to a key economic post. According to The Wall Street Journal, the president will name Alan Krueger as his pick to be Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

NPR's business news starts with a new leader for Japan.

(Soundbite of music)

INSKEEP: Japan's finance minister moves to the prime minister's office after the country's ruling party voted him in today. Yoshihiko Noda is known as a fiscal hawk, meaning he likes to reduce deficits down. Political and financial analysts are wondering not only what he might do to boost the world's third largest economy, but they are also wondering how long he's going to last.

DAVID GREENE, host:

That's because the prime minister's post has become a temp job in Japan. Noda will be Japan's sixth prime minister in only five years. Now Japanese markets ended the day slightly higher but analysts say that's largely a response to a speech last Friday by American Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

INSKEEP: Among other things, Bernanke pushed politicians to do more about the economy.

And today, President Obama nominated a Princeton University labor economist to a key economic post. The president named Alan Krueger as his pick to be chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors.

GREENE: That position was formerly held by Austan Goolsbee. According to the Wall Street Journal, if confirmed by the Senate, Krueger would likely be a voice for more aggressive government action to bring down unemployment.

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