Japan PM Naoto Kan Resigns

Naoto Kan Resigns

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan announced Friday he was resigning as head of the Democratic Party of Japan after almost 15 months in office. The Democrats will choose a new leader on Monday, who will take over as prime minister.

Among those vying to replace Kan are former Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara, Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Trade Minister Banri Kaieda. In a nationally televised speech, The 64-year-old from Ube City said he has no regrets about leaving office. ”Considering I was in a tough environment, I feel that I did what I had to do,” he said.

Kan has been under pressure to resign because of prevalent dissatisfaction with his government’s handling of the response to the recent earthquake and tsunami and an ongoing nuclear crisis–the worst since Chernobyl.

Whoever takes the helm as prime minister, the nation’s sixth head of government in five years, will face heavy load of tasks, including rebuilding from the devastation of the triple disasters and controlling massive public debt.

Here’s a video report from CNN: