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Kan reportedly to step down early next month

Date Posted: 2011-07-27

Japan’s beleaguered Prime Minister is again ready to step down, according to a senior Democratic Party of Japan official.

Naoto Kan has been on the verge of relinquishing the Prime Minister’s post since late May, but each anticipated date has been swept aside as he pressed forward with key budget bills before the Diet. Kan will leave office early in August, says the acting policy chief of the ruling DPJ, once he’s seen a critical budget bill clear the Diet.

Koriki Jojima says this time Kan’s serious about ending his tenure as Prime Minister, once he’s sure the Diet approves his legislation that permits the government to issue special bonds that cover the deficits this fiscal year. Kan said last Spring he’d step down by August, but was candid that he’d only do it once he was sure financial bills were enacted that would provide financing for post-disaster relief in the wake of the March 11th Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami in eastern Japan.

The DPJ’s policy chief says Kan’s committed only to resigning, and not stirring any government unrest by calling for dissolution of the Lower House of Representatives. Some reports have indicated Kan would make such a call for a snap election in connection with phasing out nuclear power in Japan. Jojima says he “would block that with my utmost efforts,” and added that “probably no Cabinet members would sign” such a document calling for new elections.

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