Japan’s Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, is refusing to step down following the resignation of his foreign minister over a political funding scandal. This is adding increased pressure for him to quit or call a snap election.
The resignation Sunday by Seiji Maehara is a blow to Kan’s already shaky government. It also highlights the high turnover rate plaguing government officials in recent years. This will likely further erode public confidence in Kan, whose approval rating is below 20 percent. Kan is the country’s fifth leader in four years, and there is no clear successor in sight.
Some analysts warn Kan’s government may soon collapse. Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yukio Edano, will temporarily double as foreign minister, and Kan says the change would not affect the country’s international relations.