Japan's beleaguered Prime Minister Naoto Kan
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Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan announces his resignation

Japan's beleaguered Prime Minister Naoto Kan has announced his resignation, clearing the way for the country's sixth leader in five years.

Mr Kan has been criticised for failing to show leadership after the devastating 11 March earthquake and tsunami, and ensuing nuclear crisis.

In June, Mr Kan pledged to quit if parliament passed three key pieces of legislation, which it did on Friday.

The ruling Democratic Party of Japan will choose a new leader on Monday.

Roland Buerk reports