Japan select Naoto Kan as new prime minister

FINANCE minister Naoto Kan, a fiscal conservative once best known for battling bureaucrats, was chosen to become Japan's next premier yesterday in a ruling party vote ahead of an election next month. Mr Kan, 63, will become Japan's fifth prime minister in three years, as the country struggles to rein in a huge public debt, engineer growth in an ageing society, and manage ties with the US.