Enter multiple symbols separated by commas

Japan PM Fukuda Resigns to Break Political Deadlock

Unpopular Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said on Monday that he had decided to resign in an effort to break a political deadlock.

Japanese Flag
Japanese Flag

Fukuda has been struggling to cope with a divided parliament where the opposition parties control the upper house and can delay legislation.

"If we are to prioritise the people's livelihoods, there cannot be a political vacuum from political bargaining, or a lapse in policies.

We need a new team to carry out policies," Fukuda said.

Speculation has been simmering that the unpopular prime minister might be replaced ahead of a general election that must be held by September 2009.

Fukuda's resignation does not automatically mean an election.

His party, the Liberal Democratic Party, must pick a new leader and win the confidence of parliament's lower house if it wants to carry on leading Japan's coalition government.