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Naruto Fox9
09-01-2008, 01:19 PM
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24279594-25837,00.html

TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda last night announced his resignation, calling for a fresh start after a troubled year in power that saw bitter fighting with the opposition.

"Today, I have decided to resign. We need a new line-up to cope with a new session of parliament,'' Mr Fukuda told a hastily arranged news conference at 9.30pm (10.30pm AEDT).

Mr Fukuda did not immediately speak of new elections, opening the way for a new leadership election within the ruling party. General elections must be held by September next year.

The likely front-runner to take over the post is Taro Aso, a former foreign minister who is known for being both more charismatic and more conservative than the 72-year-old Mr Fukuda.

Mr Fukuda said he made the decision in light of the tense situation in parliament. The opposition Democratic Party won control of one house last year and has aggressively fought Mr Fukuda's agenda.

"The Democratic Party has tried to stall every bill so it has taken a long time to implement any policies. For the sake of the Japanese people, this should not be repeated,'' Mr Fukuda said.

Mr Fukuda's Liberal Democratic Party has been in power for all but 10 months since its creation in 1955. He did not have to call elections until September next year. The opposition has vowed to wrest political control in the next election.

Mr Fukuda took office nearly a year ago in hopes of reviving the LDP, but he faced an uproar for introducing a hugely unpopular medical coverage plan that raises costs for many elderly people.

The Prime Minister on Friday unveiled a 11.7-trillion-yen ($100 billion) stimulus package, although some economists doubted it would give a long-term boost to the economy.

A poll out earlier yesterday said that his cabinet's approval rating had slumped nine percentage points in the past month to 29 per cent, erasing most of the bounce he received from reshuffling his cabinet a month ago.

The poll by the Nikkei economic daily and TV Tokyo Corporation tipped Mr Aso as the most popular candidate to replace the Mr Fukuda. Some 26 per cent said Mr Aso would make the best leader, far more than those who backed Mr Fukuda or opposition leader Ichiro Ozawa.

Asked why they disapproved of the government, 59 percent of voters said it lacked leadership while nearly half cited "bad policies''.

But the survey also showed the main opposition Democratic Party has failed to win over voters.

Support for the ruling party remained flat at 37 per cent, while that for the opposition party slipped three points from early August to 30 per cent, the poll showed.

Spiegel
09-01-2008, 02:39 PM
It was a good idea on his part to quite before things got uglier. If I had implented a medical coverage plan like that that screwed over senior citizens I'd have people on my ass trying to kill me. Why would he do something like that when he knows what the reaction of the Japanese people would be like.

UchihaTaijiya
09-03-2008, 09:40 AM
Yeah, I agree. I don't know much about this, but I was wondering the same thing. Old folks generally need medicine... <.<;... the most. And from what the article says, looks like his other policies aren't much better.