Naoto Kan, Japanese Prime Minister, Expected To Resign On Friday (VIDEO)

08/26/2011 01:03 am ET | Updated Oct 25, 2011

TOKYO — Japan's unpopular leader Naoto Kan is expected to resign Friday, fulfilling a promise to step down after parliament approved two key pieces of legislation.

That would set the stage for a leadership election Monday within Kan's ruling Democratic Party of Japan and a new prime minister – Japan's sixth since 2006.

The two bills were approved Friday and local media reports said Kan would resign at a party gathering later in the day.

Potential successors include former Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara, Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Trade Minister Banri Kaieda.

The 64-year-old Kan has seen his approval ratings tumble amid a perceived lack of leadership after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis.