Prime Minister Naoto Kan offered to resign once he has brought the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant under control. The power play in parliament has gone over poorly with the public.
Stock markets in Asia, Europe fall sharply after US stock markets plunge and Greek debt worries rise. Futures point to rebound in the US.
A man walks in front of the Deauville Congress Center, in Deauville, western France, on May 23, where world leaders of the G8 will meet for a summit May 26 and May 27.
From post-Katrina New Orleans to tsunami-hit Japan, examples abound of using a crisis for blank-slate redesign after a tragedy.
Some 20 miles northeast of Japan's devastated Fukushima nuclear power plant, the small village of Iitate was transformed from one of Fukushima prefecture's poorest to a quaint getaway in the mountains on the mend. Now, residents have been ordered to evacuate.
More than a month after a devastating earthquake and tsunami sparked Japan's worst nuclear crisis, Japan has made it illegal to come within 12 miles of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan (l.) shouts 'Come on, Japan' along with Ishinomaki Mayor Hiroshi Kameyama (c.) and other people as he visits Ishinomaki, a port town devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan, on April 10.
Based on new estimates of the radiation that has been released, Fukushima now has the worst score on the IAEA's accident rating scale. But much about the reactors, and their future, is still unknown.
Japan's prime minister is urging the public not to panic after the government boosted the severity level of the crisis at Fukushima to the highest rating, the same level as the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
As pools of highly radioactive water are found beneath Japan's damaged reactors, authorities hoping to protect the ocean and groundwater are struggling to find adequate storage.