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Tuesday, 13th January 2009
In General Japan News,

Minister's resignation increases pressure on Aso

Pressure is growing on Japanese prime minister Taro Aso after a former reform minister quit the ruling Liberal Democrat party (LDP), it has been reported.

Yoshimi Watanabe resigned from the LDP, turning up the heat on Mr Aso who is trying to deflect calls for an election.

Mr Watanabe told reporters: "Aso's government has become so out of touch with the people that we need a change fast."

The LDP has enjoyed almost half a century of unbroken rule, however recent polls have seen its popularity sliding.

Speculation is also growing that a group of LDP legislators, including Mr Watanabe, could join forces with opposition parties to block legislation.

A recent opinion poll by a major newspaper in Japan showed that Mr Aso's approval rating had fallen to below 20 per cent, a development that is likely to cause alarm in a nation where government's tend to fall when their popularity falls below 30 per cent.



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