Naoto Kan elected as new Japanese PM

15:50, June 04, 2010      

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Naoto Kan speaks after he was elected as the chief of Democratic Party of Japan in Tokyo, capital of Japan, June 4, 2010. Kan became Japan's new prime minister after being approved by the Diet on Friday. (Xinhua/Ji Chunpeng)

Former finance minister and deputy prime minister Naoto Kan was elected as Japan's new prime minister Friday following the majority of votes in elections held at the House of Representatives and more recently at the less powerful House of Councillors going his way in a leadership race that was largely uncontested.

Kan becomes Japan's 94th leader and the fifth prime minister since 2006.

Known as a grass-roots, straight talking politician, Kan, 63, takes over from Yukio Hatoyama who stepped down from the top spot Wednesday amid plunging support ratings over his inept leadership skills that finally led to the splitting of the ruling coalition.

Hatoyama's Cabinet also collectively resigned along with the outgoing prime minister on Wednesday.

Funding scandals and broken promises also plagued Hatoyama's eight month tenure.

The new prime minister has picked Yoshito Sengoku as Cabinet's chief secretary, a senior DPJ official said Friday.

Sengoku was previously state minister for national policy in Hatoyama's Cabinet.

Kan told his party Diet affairs chief Friday that he intends to form a new Cabinet on Tuesday rather than Friday as expected, according to a party official.

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