Japan PM survives no-confidence vote
Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan survived a no-confidence vote yesterday after pledging to step down once the country is on the road to recovery from the March 11 quake and nuclear disaster.
The promise to hand over power to a younger generation mollified internal party rebels who had threatened to bring down Kan, the country's fifth premier in as many years, days before his first anniversary in the job.
The motion brought by the opposition conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its allies was defeated by a 293-152 margin after most lawmakers of the centre-left ruling party fell into line behind Kan.
Kan, 64, in a last-minute appeal to his fractured Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), urged its lawmakers to stick together until he makes significant progress in rebuilding from Japan's worst post-war emergency.
Kan, a self-styled "son-of-a-salaryman", or man of the people, offered no precise milestone, leaving his departure date open to interpretation.
The LDP -- which was ousted in a landslide 2009 election after more than half a century of almost unbroken rule -- had submitted the no-confidence motion late Wednesday with two small parties.