Japan PM quits, FinMin Kan frontrunner for job


TOKYO, June 2 (Reuters) – Japanese  Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and his powerful ruling party No.2 quit on Wednesday to try to boost the party’s fortunes in an election next month, less than a year after sweeping to power with promises of change.

The political turmoil could delay efforts to thrash out plans set to be announced this month to cut the country’s public debt, which stands at about 200 percent of GDP, and a strategy to engineer economic growth in an ageing society.

But if, as many expect, fiscally conservative Finance Minister Naoto Kan takes the helm, that could raise the chances of bolder steps to rein in debt, including a pledge to consider raising the 5 percent sales tax.

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