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Japanese PM Naoto Kan under pressure

Reuters reports:

Prospects grew on Wednesday that Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan would resign this month, setting the stage for the selection of Japan's sixth leader in five years as the country struggles to rebuild from a massive tsunami, forge a new energy policy in the wake of a nuclear crisis and fix tattered state finances.

Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who favors paying for bulging social security costs by raising the five percent sales tax, and like Kan sees reining in ballooning public debt as policy priority, is mooted as a leading contender to replace Kan.