Naoto Kan life and biography

Naoto Kan picture, image, poster

Naoto Kan biography

Date of birth : 1946-10-10
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Ube City, Japan
Nationality : Japanese
Category : Politics
Last modified : 2011-03-11
Credited as : Politician , Prime minister of Japan, 8.9 earthquake 2011

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Naoto Kan is a Japanese politician who was the former leader of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), the largest opposition party in the Diet. Kan was former Minister for Health and Welfare.

Born in Ube City, Yamaguchi Prefecture as the son of bussinessman, Kan graduated in 1970 from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, and opened a patent office in 1974. He actively engaged in civic movements for years and achieved a seat in the lower house in 1980 as a member of United Social Democratic Party (USDP) through a grassroots environmental campaign. He gained national popularity in 1996 when as health minister he exposed the minister's responsibility for the spread of tainted blood. At that time, he was a member of small party forming the ruling government with the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). His action was completely unprecedented and was applauded in public media. Also he wrote a best-seller book Dai-jin (lit. minister) in which he tells the minister responsible for the Emperor.

In 1998, he admitted that he failed to make payments into the state pension scheme for 10 months. Although the amounts were relatively small, he left to avoid hurting the party. Additionally, his image had been hurt by the revelation of an affair with a television newscaster. After Yukio Hatoyama resigned as the leader of the party, Kan took over the position. In July 2003, the DPJ and the Liberal Party led by Ichiro Ozawa agreed to form a uniformed opposition party to prepare for the general election that was anticipated to take place in the fall.

During the campaign of the election of 2003, the DPJ called the election as the choice of the government between the ruling LDP-bloc and the DPJ and Kan was presented as the alternative candidate to then Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro. His face was used as the trademark of the campaign against the LDP.

However, in 2004, Kan was accused of unpaid-annuity and forced to resign the position of leader. On May 10 2004, he officially announced the resignation.

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