[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Profile: Naoto Kan
Leftist campaigner turned fiscal conservative becomes fifth leader in less than four years.
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2010 07:41 GMT
Kan, a technocrat, founded the DPJ with Hatoyama, the outgoing prime minister, in 1996 [AFP]

Naoto Kan, has become Japan's new prime minister, after the governing Democratic Party (DPJ) selected him as its new leader.

Unlike many Japanese legislators, Kan is not from a political family but the son of a businessman from Yamaguchi in the south.

Nor was he ever a member of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the party that ruled Japan for more than five decades.

Before holding a series of senior positions, including health and finance minister, Kan, 63, became a veteran in the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). He co-founded the party in 1996 and has led the party twice.

Born on October 10, 1946, in Yamaguchi prefecture, Kan was a graduate of the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

After being engaged in civic activities in the 1970s, he was first elected to the lower chamber of Japan's Diet in 1980 as a member of a small opposition party.

'Irritable Kan'

In September 1996, Kan co-founded the DPJ with Yukio Hatoyama, the outgoing prime minister, and served as the party's co-president.

In September 1997, Kan was elected as party president and re-elected in January 1998. He remained in the position until September 1999, despite the DPJ's merger with three other smaller parties.

From September 2000 to September 2002, Kan served as secretary-general of the DPJ. In December 2002, he was elected again as party president until he resigned in May 2004.

Kan became deputy prime minister in September of 2009 in the Hatoyama administration and has been finance minister since January 2010.

Kan has been nicknamed "Ira-Kan" - "Irritable Kan" - by local press due to his reputation for having explosive outbursts.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.