Related News

Home » World

Japan PM loses third government minister

JAPAN'S internal affairs and communications minister resigned yesterday, dealing a blow to the beleaguered prime minister ahead of a looming election.

Kunio Hatoyama became the third Cabinet minister to step down since Taro Aso took over as prime minister last September. Hatoyama quit because of a dispute with the rest of the Cabinet over the reappointment of the head of a government-owned corporation.

"As I cannot compromise over the matter, I chose to resign," Hatoyama said.

Hatoyama, who had been a close ally of Aso, said the prime minister received his letter of resignation and told the departing minister that he felt "sad."

The resignation deals a fresh blow to Aso, whose public support remains sluggish ahead of upper house elections that must be held by Septemebr 10.

Aso's Liberal Democratic Party has governed Japan for virtually all of the past 50 years, but opinion polls have suggested the country's biggest opposition party could win in the next polls.

Hatoyama, who had authority over the government-owned Japan Post, had repeatedly refused to approve the reappointment of Yoshifumi Nishikawa as head of the corporation, arguing that his management was sloppy. Other members of Aso's Cabinet, and reportedly Aso himself, wanted to keep Nishikawa.

Hatoyama had criticized the Aso government for lacking political clout, saying he had pointed out questionable transactions involving Japan Post, but that the Aso government did not listen.

His resignation also highlighted party discord, with senior members blaming him for prolonging the problem and causing the public to question Aso's leadership.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend