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11 of 17 ministers retain seat in new Japan cabinet

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Challenges await Japan's new leader
  • New Cabinet retains 11 ministers
  • Among them are foreign and defense ministers
  • Kan is fifth PM since 2006

Tokyo, Japan (CNN) -- Japan's new Prime Minister Naoto Kan announced his cabinet Tuesday, retaining 11 of 17 ministers in his predecessor's administration.

The upper and lower houses of Japan's parliament elected Kan as the new prime minister Friday, following the resignation of Yukio Hatoyama from the post earlier last week.

Key ministers that Kan retained from Hatomayo's administration include Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada and Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa.

Kan is the country's fifth prime minister since 2006.

Eight months ago, Hatoyama 's Democratic Party of Japan won a sweeping victory, an outcome hailed by many as a revolution in Japanese politics. With promises of a cleaner government, Hatoyama worked to shift the political dynamics in Japan by taking away power from the bureaucrats and granting more power to politicians and local governments.

But allegations of illegal campaign financing soon tarnished his administration's image. Some of his cabinet members were investigated for corruption.

His approval rating took further hits over his failed promise to move a major U.S. Marine base off Okinawa to ease the burden of the island, which hosts the majority of the United States military presence in Japan.

Earlier this month, calling his decision "heartbreaking," he announced that the base would remain on Okinawa, although relocated to a different part of the island.

Hatoyama's critics claimed he gave in to U.S. pressure, and his government coalition broke up.

CNN's Yoko Wakatsuki contributed to this report.