The fifth Prime Minister of Japan in less than 5 years, Prime Minister Naoto Kan has officially resigned as both Prime Minister and head official of the ruling political party, the DPJ, otherwise known as the Democratic Party of Japan (民主党). This move from Naoto Kan was expected after he promised to step down on the condition if two bills were passed in parliament.
The two bills in question address reconstruction in the wake of the devastating earthquake along with a “deficit financing” bill.
So, since the bills have passed, the beleaguered former Prime Minister whose approval rating rocketed downwards (despite his relief pledges and the surrendering of his salary as prime minister) resigned forcing the public to again observe an exasperating show of Japanese politics.
The Democratic Party of Japan will be considering candidates for the position of Prime Minister and will hopefully elect a new Prime Minister by next week.
The previous Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama lasted around 10 months before he resigned on the 2nd of June last year despite being hailed as one of the most influential people in the process of changing Japan into a “functional democracy”.
Like Kan, who was the finance minister and deputy prime minister at the time of Hatoyama’s resignation, Hatoyama faced immense pressure from the Japanese public and his own political party to resign primarily due to the media spotlight on Hatoyama’s “reconsideration” of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the post-WWII U.S. military base of Futenma on Okinawa.
Hatoyama cited that due to the increased tensions on the Korean peninsula between the nuclear armed North and the defending South, he had gone back on his promise to put on a tough show so the U.S. government would back out.
While he was praised by U.S. government officials for his decision, he was condemned by his own people particularly those in Okinawa.
(Cover Photo: Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images AsiaPac)