Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan Resigns

Naoto Kan

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

As Bloomberg reports this morning, after just 14 months in office, “Japan Premier Kan Resigns After Quake Backlash.” The ruling party will pick the 64-year-old’s replacement August 29th.

A politically bold maverick, Kan “was already under fire over campaign financing when the record 9.0 quake and tsunami struck March 11, killing almost 16,000 people.”  

His inability to form a coalition within Japan’s government immediately following the tragedy, combined with his perceived failure to act quickly enough to stem the greatest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, brought swift and serve criticism from both the opposition party and his own.

One expert notes, in relation to Kan’s political leadership, ‘”It looks like the political elite of Japan is always inclined to squander their opportunities.'”

Of course, the new leader of the land of the rising sun inherits a dismal and dark economy, which hit its peak in 1997.  

Furthermore, the incoming premier will also inherit  a politically hostile nation, seemingly strictly and uniformly opposed to raising taxes, even to fund the necessary reconstruction of Japan’s infrastructure.

Kan’s resignation ushers in Japan’s sixth head of government in five years. 

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