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Naoto Kan, Japan’s Prime Minister To Resign On Monday

Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan is to resign on Monday when a new leader for the Democratic Party is chosen.

Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan is to resign on Monday when a new leader for the Democratic Party is chosen.

On Friday the Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan announced that he is resigning after only 14 months in office, and will officially step down on Monday when the ruling party votes to pick a new leader. This will be Japan’s sixth Prime Minister in just five years.

Mr Kan’s approval ratings have plummeted in recent months due to his handling of the earthquake and tsunami which occurred back on 11 March 2011, but was followed by the nuclear crisis, as the Fukushima Power Plant suffered damage and began leaking radioactivity into the air and sea. The resignation was expected, as Kan had promised that he would step down.

The Japanese people who have been evacuated from around the Fukushima plant are unhappy with slow recovery efforts, not knowing when they will be able to return home as they continue to live in temporary shelters. The amount of radiation in the air sea, and even some foods, is a concern for many, although the levels of radiation have started falling as workers continue the process of bringing the plant to a cold shut down, aiming to have this done by January 2012.

As a result of the disaster, Kan is urging that the earthquake-prone Japan becomes less reliant on nuclear power, but this comment still did not improve his ratings in Japan.

Candidates will be declared on Saturday, with a debate taking place on Sunday, and then the Democratic Party will vote on Monday for their new leader, with the new cabinet expected to be in place on Tuesday.

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