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Kan lays down conditions for departure

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Kan lays down conditions for departure

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Japan’s beleaguered prime minister has announced a mini cabinet reshuffle, creating two posts to oversee the nuclear crisis and tsunami reconstruction. But he has also laid out conditions for keeping his promise to resign.

“I have said that I want to hand over power to a younger generation once I have fulfilled my responsibilities,” said Naoto Kan. “For me those (responsibilities) are passing the second budget bill, the renewable energy policy bill, and the special recovery budget bill.”

However he sidestepped a question about whether he’d call a snap general election if the renewable energy bill did not get through.

Japan is struggling to recover from March’s earthquake and tsunami that severely damaged the Fukushima nuclear plant. A political stalemate over the departure of Kan – the country’s fifth leader in five years – could slow that recovery even further.