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Prime Minister's fate could easily be decided this week

Date Posted: 2011-06-16

Prime Minister Naoto Kan knows heís in political trouble, and knows he must step down, but is battling even his own Democratic Party of Japan and his political advisors on exactly when heíll make the move.

He survived a no-confidence vote earlier in the month by promising to step down soon, assuring his DPJ that heíd resign as soon as the March 11th earthquake and tsunami reconstruction is rolling, and the nuclear issues at Fukushima are resolved. In making the promises, Kan was vague as to the exact date, and that has both his own party and the opposition Liberal Democratic Party demanding action.

A DPJ meeting this week could bring cool heads together to help Kan make a decision. Kanís already met with Shizuka Kamei, leader of Kokumin Shinto, the Peopleís New Party. The PNP is the junior partner in Kanís coalition government. Yoshito Sengoku, the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, is one of the lead players steering the government to a post-Kan state. Heís told media Kan must first get cooperation from the opposition party on a key government bill is passed to provide 40% of the •92.41 trillion fiscal year budget.

Kan is thought to have leveraged passage of the bill, which includes deficit-covering bonds, as a precondition for his stepping aside quickly.

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