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Friday, 12th June 2009
In General Japan News,

Japanese internal affairs minister steps down over post row

Kunio Hatoyama, Japan's internal affairs minister, has announced his resignation from the cabinet of prime minister Taro Aso after a dispute over the running of the postal service.

The minister stepped down after the prime minister ignored his recommendation to oust Japan Post's head Yoshifumi Nishikawa after he controversially attempted to sell a chain of resorts owned by the postal service to a business associate.

Mr Hatoyama, the younger brother of leader of the opposition Yukio Hatoyama, stated that he felt compelled to leave the cabinet due to his belief that the right thing was not being done.

The resignation causes further problems for the prime minister, whose popularity has declined during the recession and whose Liberal Democratic Party now lags behind Yukio Hatoyama's Democratic Party in national polls.

Furthermore, the government earlier this week announced that the country's economy has contracted 14.2 per cent in the first three months of 2009, the largest decline since the second world war.

Written by Mark Smith