Naoto Kan

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Nuclear Power Is Back in Japan

Restarting of first reactor in 2 years brings protests

(Newser) - A power plant operator in southern Japan restarted a nuclear reactor today, the first to begin operating under new safety requirements following the Fukushima disaster . Kyushu Electric Power Co. says it has restarted the No. 1 reactor at its Sendai nuclear plant as planned. The restart marks Japan's return... More »

Noda Gain: Japan Gets 6th Leader in 5 Years

Former finance minister picked for country's top job

(Newser) - Yoshihiko Noda is Japan's new prime minister and he has some tough challenges ahead of him, not least of which is unifying his own bickering party. Noda, formerly the country's finance minister, was elected as leader today by the country's parliament, winning majorities both in the lower... More »

Japan PM Resigning

Naoto Kan will officially quit next week

(Newser) - Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan announced today he would resign after almost 15 months in office amid plunging approval ratings over his government's handling of the tsunami disaster and nuclear crisis. In a nationally televised speech, Kan said he was stepping down as chief of the ruling Democratic Party... More »

Japan's Credit Rating Cut

Moody's drops country to fourth-highest rating

(Newser) - Japan has joined the US on the list of countries to have its credit rating downgraded because of debt worries. But for the Japanese, the downgrade is just the latest in a long series of bad news. Moody's has cut Japan's rating by a notch to the fourth... More »

Japan's PM Beats Censure, Hints He'll Resign

Naoto Kan acknowledged 'shortcomings' after earthquake

(Newser) - Prime Minister Naoto Kan defeated a no-confidence motion today over his handling of Japan's triple disasters, but the victory may be short lived—he said he is willing to resign once the country's recovery kicks in. Kan, who has been criticized for delays in the construction of temporary... More »

What Really Happened When Quake Hit Fukushima

Nuclear crisis was more desperate than the world realized

(Newser) - The first 24 hours of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi were more chaotic and dangerous than the outside world ever dreamed. When the tsunami hit and knocked out the plant’s backup generators, workers turned into scavengers, searching nearby homes for flashlights and ripping the batteries out of... More »

Japan to Extend Nuclear Evacuation Zone

Continuing trouble at reactor causes public to lash out at polls

(Newser) - With radiation continuing to spew from six damaged nuclear reactors at the Fukushima plant, Japanese authorities will finally expand the evacuation zone from 12 miles to 18 miles, reports Reuters . Engineers said they were no closer to restoring the nuclear facility's cooling system, an essential step to getting the reactor... More »

Concrete Pit Leaking Radioactive Water Into Ocean

Japan trying to plug newly found crack at Fukushima plant

(Newser) - Japan might have figured out why seawater near the Fukushima plant has been showing such high levels of radioactivity: a cracked concrete maintenance pit. The newly discovered crack may have been allowing radioactive water to leak directly into the ocean since the earthquake, and workers are trying to plug it... More »

Japanese PM: We're on 'Maximum Alert'

But experts say fear over plutonium in soil may be overblown

(Newser) - With fears escalating over the plutonium leaking into the soil around the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, Japanese officials sounded a cautious note today, with Prime Minister Naoto Kan telling lawmakers that the government would “tackle the problem while in a state of maximum alert,” according to the Economic Times... More »

Japan's Ruling Party Loses Majority

Loses grip on upper house, retains more powerful lower house

(Newser) - Japanese media are projecting that the ruling Democrats lost seats in a parliamentary election, dealing a setback to the progressive party's 10-month old government. Public broadcaster NHK predicted that the Democratic Party of Japan won less than 50 contested seats in today's upper house election, down from 54 before the... More »

Japanese PM Quits Over Okinawa Base

Hatoyama cites failure to move US base as reason for resigning

(Newser) - Japan's Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama is stepping down after just 8 months in office. Hatoyama—whose plunging approval ratings ahead of an election expected to be held in July put him under intense pressure from his Democratic Party of Japan to step down—said he was quitting because of a... More »

11 Stories