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Naoto Kan Named Japanese Prime Minister

Japanese shares edged lower Friday after Naoto Kan was named Japan's new prime minister.

TOKYO (

TheStreet

) -- Japanese shares edged lower Friday after Naoto Kan was named Japan's new prime minister.

Kan served as finance minister under

Yukio Hatoyama

, who resigned Wednesday after his popularity plunged over a broken campaign promise to move a U.S. Marine base. He came to power just eight months ago.

Kan is Japan's sixth prime minister in four years.

The Nikkei 225 stock average on Friday fell 13 points, or 0.1%, to 9,901.19.

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Kan, in a written candidate's statement Friday, identified economic recovery and growth as Japan's biggest challenge. Japan is the world's second-largest economy but is losing ground to China.

"I will tackle and pull Japan out of deflation through comprehensive measures from the government and the Bank of Japan," Kan said in the statement, hinting he would seek greater cooperation from the central bank.

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

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