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Kan Becomes New Japanese Prime Minister

Naoto Kan moments after his election to head the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) on June 4
Fiscal conservative Naoto Kan has been installed by lawmakers to become Japan's prime minister to succeed Yukio Hatoyama, who stepped down earlier this week amid plunging popularity.

Kan won election as the new leader of the ruling Democratic Party, which controls the lower house of parliament. The upper house was expected to follow suit.

AP quoted Kan, which it describes as an "outspoken populist," as saying that "my task is to rebuild this nation."

Kan had been serving as finance minister and deputy prime minister under Hatoyama, whose drop in support was compounded by a change in position on the presence of a U.S. air base on the island of Okinawa.

compiled from agency reports