Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigns

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Shinzō Abe photographed on February 21, 2007.
Image: David Bohrer/White House..

Reports are stating that Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to resign.

"Unfortunately, he will announce himself his decision to resign. He has made a very significant decision," said Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) chairman for the affair of parliament, Tadamori Oshima.

At 2:00 pm (local time) NHK broadcast the press conference where Abe announced his coming resignation. Abe would have been Japan's Prime Minister for just under one year. He was elected on September 26, 2006.

At the conference, Abe admitted he lacked trust from Japanese people and Ichiro Ozawa, the leader of the opposite party had refused a meeting Abe had offered today. Abe expressed his concerns to continue the current foreign military mission, reportedly speaking about Afghanistan, and his expectation that resigning might change the situation around that issue and would allow the government to continue the current mission.

Not mentioned at the conference, Abe's cabinet faced domestic problems too. Due to the financial scandal, Takehiko Endo resigned from the post of Minister of Agriculture on September 3, just 8 days after he was appointed to the post, the Japan Times reported.

Interviewed by NHK, the opposite party leaders Ichiro Ozawa (DP), Kazuo Siki (JCP) Mizuho Fukushima (SDP) made criticizing comments separately. At the conference from 3 p.m. (local time), broadcast by NHK, Ozawa expressed mild surprise that Abe canceled the diet meeting scheduled today, implying he could have stepped down much before, and said that he didn't think he rejected the official offer of a meeting with Abe as the leader of LDP and thought such a meeting wasn't officially offered either by the government or Abe as individual. According to Ozawa, he had reported Abe would have liked to come to "greet" and had replied the question time at the Diet would be enough.

Sources

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