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Japanese PM Naoto Kan keeps his job but faces challenges

09-14-2010 18:50 BJT Special Report:DPJ Presidential Election |

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Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has been re-elected president of the ruling Democratic Party, surviving a challenge from a veteran powerbroker and sparing Japan another leadership change as it deals with its sluggish economy.

Naoto Kan, in office just three months, defeated party heavyweight Ichiro Ozawa by an unexpectedly wide margin.

While Ozawa has a strong support base within the party, in the end, it wasn't enough.

The results showed that rank-and-file members around the country overwhelmingly prefer Kan.

After the vote, Kan appealed to fellow party members to work together to tackle Japan's challenges.

Naoto Kan, Japanese Prime Minister, said, "Japan is currently in serious difficulty. We must rebuild Japan to make a healthy Japan again in order to hand it over to the next generation, and I will stake my life to do the job and gain support from the people."

Kan is far more popular among the general public than Ozawa, who is widely seen as a backroom kingmaker with a scandal-tainted image.

Surveys show that ordinary voters prefer Kan by a margin of four to one.



Profile of Naoto Kan

Naoto Kan, the 63-year-old Prime Minister, is a veteran in the DPJ.



Profile of Ichiro Ozawa

Ichiro Ozawa, the 68-year-old former secretary general of the DPJ.





Studio interview: Frequent leadership changes in Japan


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