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Thread: Japanese Prime Minister resigns

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    Elite Member NicoleWasHere's Avatar
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    Default Japanese Prime Minister resigns

    Japan’s Prime Minister Resigns

    TOKYO — Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda of Japan abruptly announced his resignation on Monday, ending a short-lived and unpopular government marred by political paralysis.

    Mr. Fukuda’s sudden departure, announced at a hastily called news conference on Monday night, seemed to catch his country by surprise. It also appeared to plunge the world’s second-largest economy into further political confusion, coming after the equally sudden resignation last year of Mr. Fukuda’s predecessor, Shinzo Abe.

    Mr. Fukuda’s decision was particularly unexpected because he came to office last September as a veteran political insider widely counted on to bring stability after Mr. Abe’s hasty departure. In the end, Mr. Fukuda, 72, lasted about as long as Mr. Abe — roughly a year.

    Mr. Fukuda explained his decision at the news conference by saying that Japan needed “a new team to carry out policies.” This was an apparent reference to his government’s inability to pass legislation in a divided Parliament where the opposition party controls the upper house.

    That deadlock, along with the bespectacled Mr. Fukuda’s own colorless style, had hurt his approval ratings, which have hovered below 30 percent. Mr. Fukuda’s lack of popularity had led to widespread speculation that he may resign ahead of national elections that must be held in the next year.

    Mr. Fukuda hinted that he was stepping aside to give his ruling Liberal Democratic Party a chance to find new leadership ahead of the upcoming elections. The Liberal Democrats will be fighting to keep control of Parliament’s lower house, which chooses the prime minister.

    The Liberal Democrats must now pick a new leader as the party prepares for an election battle against the largest opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan.


    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/02/wo....html?ref=asia

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