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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Japan's Taro Aso government resigns

RIA Novosti

05:34 16/09/2009 TOKYO, September 16 (RIA Novosti) - The Japanese government, led by Prime Minister Taro Aso, resigned at an emergency session of the country's parliament, which began in Tokyo on Wednesday.

The center-left Democratic Party of Japan, led by Yukio Hatoyama, the grandson of former premier Ichiro Hatoyama, won a majority of 308 seats in the 480-seat lower house of parliament.

Until last month's election victory, Taro Aso's Liberal Democratic Party had maintained virtually unbroken power in Japan since 1955, apart from a brief 10-month break in 1993.

The party will elect the country's 93rd prime minister at another session, which is due to begin at 4:00 GMT on Wednesday. Hatoyama is seen as the most likely candidate.

The make-up of the Cabinet will also be announced at the session.

Japan has been hard-hit by the global economic slowdown, with unemployment at a record high, sparking dissatisfaction with Aso's government.

Hatoyama has pledged a range of ambitious spending proposals on healthcare and education, but analysts have warned that the plans could further escalate the country's national debt.



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