Japan premier reportedly plans to step down by August
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said he plans to step down by August amid renewed calls from the opposition and within his own ruling party for his early resignation, news reports said Sunday.
Kan, the fifth premier in as many years, also reportedly told Hajime Ishii, a senior lawmaker of his Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), that he would propose three bills including one for the reconstruction of areas devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami before he resigns, DPA reported.
The premier survived a no-confidence motion Thursday, but said he will step down once his government has dealt with the aftermath of the March disasters and the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The plant has leaked radioactive materials into the environment since it was crippled during the tsunami. The crisis has forced 87,000 resident to evacuate the area.
On Thursday, the lower house of Japan's Diet voted down the motion against his cabinet after Kan announced that he would resign.
However, Kan hinted Thursday night he would remain in office until the damaged plant is brought under control, which the operator Tokyo Electric Power Co expects could take until at least January.
That infuriated some DPJ lawmakers and the opposition, who wanted him to quit as early as this month.