Japan: Prime Minister Naoto Kan resigns

First Steve Jobs, now this? Kyodo News reports that Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan has resigned. This resignation, too, was expected: Kan first indicated he would step down three months ago, not long after the 3/11 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear contamination crisis.

In his final months, Kan articulated a vision for a nuclear-free Japan that struck a popular chord with a nation reeling from the Fukushima nuclear disaster and its still-unfolding consequences. What becomes of that no-more-nukes vision depends in part on who succeeds him. That person will be Japan's sixth PM in five years.

The Democratic Party of Japan's election for a new party president, who then becomes prime minister, is expected to take place Monday.


  1. I’ve lost track of these Japanese PMs: they pretty much screw up and quit as quickly as they get elected.  What’s the point?

    1. I’ve lost track of these Japanese PMs: they pretty much screw up and quit as quickly as they get elected.  What’s the point?

      Here in the U.S. they screw up, but they usually skip the quit part.

    1. Come on, it’s obvious: Jobs, Malda (CmdrTaco), and Kan all resign — on the 20th anniversary of Linux give or take a day. Clearly, they are launching a startup to bring Linux to the desktop once and for all.

    2. The resignation of CmdrTaco from Slashdot was more shocking than either of these.

      That’s unfair. That’s like comparing Jobs and Kan to Winston Churchill or…Newton.

      Xeni, you got the guy’s names backwards.

  2. As long as it’s not someone from the “Liberal Democratic Party” (which are hyper conservatives) then I’m kinda fine with it…those guys are seriously trying to destroy the Japanese economy by banning/restricting everything…

    Edit: That is to say, as long as it’s not someone from the opposing party.

  3. Christmas comes early for all of us in Japan! 
    See you Aki-Kan! (“Empty Kan” as he is affectionately referred to by his detractors; myself included) 
    Please take care not to let the door spank your bourgeois booty on the way out!Of course, the next Minshuto shill for the PRC/DPRK will be taking his place so I suppose I should curb my joy in a few minutes.

  4. Of course he resigned, who wants to hang around for all the junk that’s coming up over there? “No thanks, guys. Lemme know if you want me for any photo ops or whatever.”

    But yeah, everybody’s using Jobs as an excuse this week.

  5. Tepco will choose the new Japaense PM: they need someone able to tell people that Fukushima Daichii area is a nice place to live in even right now and that Japanese nuclear power plants don’t need any protection wall against Tsunami like many cities build in the last 50 years… 

  6. Fukushima seems like a great scapegoat for natural disasters.  “We can’t stop Richter 9 quakes, but by gum, we’ll pretend like we should have.  How dare people not be ready for one of the largest earthquakes ever recovered!  By george, it just isn’t right!”  I mean, I think there were plenty of bits of the Fukushima disaster that were covered up & mismanaged, but it just screams “albatross!” to me.

  7. TO be serious for a small moment, Japan is in for some hard times in the near- and mid-future. What I’ve observed, and experienced, for the last five years is a country flailing and failing in the rigors of hierarchy and tradition; six PM’s in five years says less about their leadership than it does about the mindset of their voters. What does one do when the proper hierarchy stops working? Kan couldn’t possibly fix the basic corruption from the 1960’s through to the present that resulted in the Fukushima debacle during his short time in office. One party for fifty years is barely a democracy, but it did reflect the unity of a nation in a time when they could be unified. Time will tell how well they adapt to change, but from what I’ve seen they have a lot of trouble accepting that it’s not up to the authorities anymore, and the ability to express personal, different or radical opinions has thoroughly rusted through.

  8. Actually, it would be bigger news if he lasted a few more months… even without the disaster.

    Thing is, becoming the prime minister in Japan is just about the fastest way to ensure that your political career comes to an untimely end.

Comments are closed.