Friday, March 31, 2006

Leaders of opposition quit in Japanese scandal

So says the IHT.

The leadership of Japan's biggest opposition party resigned Friday over a scandal surrounding an e-mail message falsely accusing a governing party leader's son of financial links with Livedoor, the disgraced Internet company.

The resignations of Seiji Maehara, the Democratic Party of Japan leader, and his lieutenants' resignations were the latest blow to the group in the scandal, which has damaged the major competitor to the long-governing Liberal Democratic Party.

"It is my responsibility that the problem was not dealt with immediately," Maehara said in a news conference after he resigned.
This leaves the dominant conservative Liberal Democratic Party with near-absolute power, and its leader, Japanese PM Junichiro Koizumi, along with it. Why does this matter to North Americans? Because the PM is retiring soon, and there are indications that the people following him are pretty hawkish, particularly on the issue of China. Since the brewing Japan-China "cold war" is one of the most important (and under-reported) issues in the world right now, this sort of thing could have a huge impact on North Americans down the road.

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