Prime Minister Naoto Kan is under increasing pressure, from both within his own party and outside, to step down as prime minister and let someone else have a go on Japan's leadership carousel.
Today more than 60 members of his own party, the Democratic Party of Japan, met to discuss ways of ousting their PM. This is on top of the opposition attacking him for weeks for his 'failure' to bring the nuclear incident under control and otherwise deal with the aftermath of the calamities last Month.
However one of the issuse for his own party is that there is currently no clear alternative to Kan. The most likely candidate, former foreign minister Seiji Maehara, was forced to resign just before the quake due to an absurd 'only in Japan' money scandal where he unknowingly took donations from a non-Japanese citizen. It's a real shame he couldn't have hung on for another week, because after the quake everything else was forgotten for a while, and Maehara may have been able to take over by now. The only other name being thrown around is the old indefatigably corrupt and disingenuous Ichiro Ozawa. Him becoming PM would be the equivalent of Nixon being elected to the Whitehouse a year after resigning over Watergate. But hey, it could happen in the Fantasy Land that is Japan. Rumour has it that he is only interested in becoming PM because as head of state he will be immune from prosecution for all his various scandals.
The weirdest part is that there is no real reason for Kan to go. I think he's done an extraordinary job. I want to have his children. The evacuees are being housed and fed. Reconstruction is progressing. Even Tepco has been roundly castigated. Daily press conferences were held during the worst of the crisis and it was clear even to me that his government was doing the best it could. The only thing I could disagree with is the passing of the bill to fund compensation and reconstruction using...
... my pension funds.