Friday, February 17, 2012

Naoto Kan

Naoto Kan ( 直人, Kan Naoto, born 10 October 1946) is a Japanese politician, and former Prime Minister of Japan. In June 2010, then-Finance Minister Kan was elected as the leader of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and designated Prime Minister by the Diet to succeed Yukio Hatoyama. On 26 August 2011, Kan announced his resignation. Yoshihiko Noda was formally appointed as Prime Minister by the Emperor of Japan on 2 September 2011.

Early Life
Kan was born in Ube City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, as the son of Hisao Kan, an executive for a glass manufacturer. He graduated in 1970 from the Tokyo Institute of Technology and became a licensed benrishi (patent agent/attorney) in 1971.

His hobbies are go, shogi and origami. Kan built a machine to calculate the complicated mahjong point system and applied for a patent in 1973.

Kan married his wife Nobuko in 1970. Nobuko, born in Okayama Prefecture, entered a relationship with the Tokyo-dwelling Kan after entering Tsuda College. As the two are first cousins, the engagement was met with parental opposition. They have two sons, Gentarō and Shinjirō. Gentarō is a civil rights activist and lost in elections for the Lower House in 2003 and 2005. Shinjiro is a veterinarian and works at an animal hospital in Nerima, Tokyo.

Kan has earned the nicknames 'Ira-Kan', or 'Fretful Kan', due to his reputed short temper.

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