Japanese PM Quits amidst Mounting Wave of Criticism

World | August 26, 2011, Friday // 09:40|  views

Japanese PM, Naoto Kan, resigned in the aftermath of staggering criticism for failing to show leadership after the devastating March 11 earthquake. File photo

Struggling Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan announced his resignation Friday in a broadcast to the nation.

The move does not comes as a surprise since Kan, 64, has endured staggering criticism for failing to show leadership after the devastating March11 earthquake and tsunami, and handling the nuclear crisis triggered by the follow-up damage at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, NPP.

In June, Kan pledged to quit if parliament passed three key pieces of legislation, which it did on Friday.

The ruling Democratic Party of Japan will choose a new leader on Monday – the sixth one in the last five years.

Seiji Maehara, a hawk on China who argues for pursuing growth before rising taxes to restore the nation's fiscal health, is favorite among the public, BBC informs Friday.

Reports in Japan say Ichiro Ozawa, who leads the biggest faction despite the suspension of his party membership over a political funding scandal, is unlikely to support the former foreign minister.

Other possible successors include Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda, Trade Minister Banri Kaieda, and Agriculture Minister Michihiko Kano.

Kan is expected to give a news conference later on Friday.

During the broadcast, he said he had done all he could, given the difficulties he faced, including the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and political infighting.

Under the severe circumstances, I feel I've done everything that I had to do," he said. "Now I would like to see you choose someone respectable as a new prime minister."

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Tags: Japanese PM, Naoto Kan, resigned, resignation, criticism, Earthquake, Japan, tsunami, Fukushima, nuclear disaster, NPP


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