Kan, Naoto

Kan, Naoto,

1946–, Japanese political leader, grad. Tokyo Institute of Technology (1970). A civic activist and long-time opponent of the Liberal Democratic partyLiberal Democratic party
(LDP), Japanese political party. It began as the conservative Liberal party, which, under Shigeru Yoshida, became the dominant political force in Japan following World War II. In 1955 the Liberals merged with the newly created Democratic party.
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, he first was elected to the Diet in 1980 as a Social Democrat. In 1996, when the party (Sakigake) to which he then belonged was in coalition with the LDP, he served as health minister, and won prominence by exposing a scandal dating to the 1980s involving the use of blood products tainted with HIVHIV,
human immunodeficiency virus, either of two closely related retroviruses that invade T-helper lymphocytes and are responsible for AIDS. There are two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is responsible for the vast majority of AIDS in the United States.
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. A cofounder (1996) of the party that became the Democratic party of Japan (DPJ), he was party leader (1996–99, 2002–4), resigning in 2004 over his failure to make state pension payments while he served as health minister. When the DPJ won control of the Diet in 2009, he became deputy prime minister and headed the government's efforts to reduce the bureaucracy's influence on policy-making. Finance minister from Jan., 2010, he succeeded Yukio HatoyamaHatoyama, Yukio
, 1947–, Japanese politician, grad. Tokyo Univ. (B.S., 1969), Stanford (Ph.D, 1976). Though his grandfather was Prime Minister Ichiro Hatoyama and his father was foreign minister, he trained as an engineer and did not run for office until 1986, when he was
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 as party leader and prime minister in June, 2010. Regarded as ineffective, especially in the aftermath of the Mar., 2011, earthquake and tsunami, he resigned in Aug., 2011, and was succeeded by Yoshihiko Noda.
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