Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Japan's premier to resign by August 30

Japan's outgoing Prime Minister Naoto Kan says he will resign by August 30. (file photo)

Source: Press TV

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has announced his resignation, saying that his successor will take over by August 30 amid criticism over his handling of the nation's March 11 quake.

In an informal meeting with his ministers on Tuesday, Kan said his successor will be in office once parliament passes two key bills this week, AFP reported on Tuesday.

''I believe a new prime minister will be decided on August 30,'' he said.

Japan's centre-left ruling party will choose the new premier on August 29 on the condition that two key bills pass this week, said Secretary General of Japan's Democratic Party (DPJ) Katsuya Okada.

The DPJ's board members also agreed on the date for the party meeting to allow for the timely passage of a third extra budget to finance disaster reconstruction and for steps to tackle the strong yen, Okada said.

Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda, Trade Minister Banri Kaieda, former Transport Minister Sumio Mabuchi and several others are expected to run for the position.

On March 11, a destructive 9.0-magnitude earthquake and an ensuing tsunami struck Japan's northern coasts, setting off a nuclear crisis by knocking out power to cooling systems of reactors at the Fukushima plant and causing a radiation leak.

The devastating quake and tsunami also killed about 24,000 people and ravaged the Fukushima plant. The crisis has displaced about 80,000 residents from around the plant as well.

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