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Friday, 26th August 2011
In General Japan News,

Japanese prime minister announces resignation

The Japanese prime minister, Naoto Kan, has resigned following months of sustained pressure following his response to the March 11th twin natural disasters of earthquake and tsunami.

Mr Kan revealed months ago that he would leave the prestigious role - which has had eight holders since the turn of the millennium - once two pieces of legislations he had championed passed through the Diet chamber of the Japanese legislature.

These bills, on reconstruction of the areas hit by the natural disasters and renewable energy, passed through the chamber on Friday.

In a short statement, Mr Kan revealed his plans, which will set into motion the Democratic Party of Japan's (DPJ) leadership election process, the schedule of which was announced last week.

Mr Kan announced his resignation with the following words: "Under these severe circumstances I feel I have done everything I had to do. Now I would like you to choose someone respectable as the new prime minister."

Earlier this week, the DPJ announced that they will hold an election on Monday (August 29th), to crown a new leader of the party.

The frontrunner for the position of DPJ president (and therefore for prime minister of Japan) is Seiji Maehara, who is a member of the house of representatives and the former foreign minister.

A poll released by the Mainichi Daily News earlier this month revealed that only 15 per cent of the Japanese public were supportive of the cabinet, which is the lowest rating the administration has had since coming to power in 2009.

Written by Mark Smith