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Japanese PM Yasuo Fukuda decides to resign

作者:佚名 | 来源:网络转摘 | 时间:2008-09-04
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Fukuda has been struggling to cope with a divided parliament where the opposition parties control the upper house and can delay legislation, even as the world's No.2 economy slips towards recession.

If we are to prioritise the people's livelihoods, there cannot be a political vacuum from political bargaining, or a lapse in policies. We need a new team to carry out policies," Fukuda said.

"Taking into consideration that the extraordinary session of parliament should go smoothly, I thought it would be better for someone else to do the job than me," Fukuda said.

Although Fukuda announced his decision hastily, some members of his cabinet have already predicted his resignation, according to Professor Gao Hong from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Fukuda, who is 72 years old now, has found it increasingly difficult to deal with the domestic affairs. "Fukuda needs to choose between resigning now and quitting after the general election," said Gao, "His choice of current resignation is a way of saving his face, putting an end to his less than one year term as Prime Minister."

Analysts said that LDP Secretary-General Taro Aso, an outspoken, right-leaning former foreign minister, was the frontrunner to succeed Fukuda.

Gao predicted it is highly likely that Aso will be the successor of Fukuda.

"According to the current situation, Taro Aso and Sadakazu Tanigaki, the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, are two possible candidates for the position of Prime Minister," said Liu Jiangyong, professor from the Institute of International Studies of Beijing-based Tsinghua University.

Speculation has been simmering that the unpopular prime minister might be replaced ahead of a general election that must be held by September 2009.

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