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Monday, June 7, 2010

Japan`s New Prime Minister Naoto Kan

Naoto Kan, 63, will become Japan`s new prime minister following an internal party vote and parliamentary vote, replacing Yukio Hatoyama, who resigned over broken campaign pledges. Japan`s governing Democratic Party has chosen the plain spoken finance minister with activist roots to be the party`s new leader. Mr Kan is known for his quick temper, and gained national attention in the mid 1990s when as health minister he exposed his own ministry`s use of blood tainted with HIV. The party is hoping for a second chance to fulfil a historic election mandate for change. Mr Kan faces a big task in trying to win back public support that Mr Hatoyama squandered in months of indecision over the fate of a US military base. He must also help the party regain the momentum it had in August after a landslide election victory that ended a half century of virtual one party rule.
Mr Kan becomes Japan`s fifth leader in four years and now inherits the problems that those before him struggled to solve. These include a nagging debt, a history of fiscal scandals, and lingering questions about the fate of the US marine base on Okinawa. Mr Kan vowed to refocus the party on its original goal of ending Japan`s two decade stagnation. He said he would do this by tackling two of Japan`s most daunting problems, its anaemic growth rates and ballooning public debt.

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