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Fukuda's exit reflects drift in Japan's politics
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Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda abruptly announced his resignation on Monday.

Not even a year has passed since Fukuda's predecessor, Shinzo Abe, acted in similar fashion. Fukuda's surprise decision to step down means two consecutive prime ministers of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party quit while they were still in office.

The resignation of a nation's leader in such a manner can only be described as abnormal and irresponsible. It is hardly surprising that calls for an immediate power transfer to the largest opposition party have emerged. This is a true political crisis.

Fukuda must have been well aware of how he would be criticized if he resigned now. Why then did he make such a decision?

At Monday's news conference announcing his resignation, Fukuda repeatedly criticized the main opposition Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan), which effectively controls the Upper House.

"During the last regular Diet session, Minshuto delayed and boycotted deliberations as part of its political maneuvering. The process took too much time to reach decisions on any issue," he said.

Explaining the reason for his departure, Fukuda added, "As things stand now, we need to implement policies under a new leadership."

There is no doubt that Fukuda had a hard time dealing with the Diet.

His remarks at the news conference indicated deep despair at the political situation.

He apparently concluded that he could no longer push through his own policy initiatives under the current circumstances. The only way to break the impasse, he seems to have concluded, was a change of leadership.

In other words, Fukuda ran out of ways to revive his political leadership.

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