Japanese Opposition Leader Un-Quits

About-face after 2 days reflects party pressure, government turmoil
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2007 12:20 PM CST
Democratic Party of Japan leader Ichiro Ozawa speaks at political party leaders' debate in Tokyo, in this July 11, 2007, file photo. Ozawa, president of the country's main opposition Democratic Party...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The leader of Japan's opposition party has withdrawn his resignation after 2 days of wrangling in the country's latest political crisis, Bloomberg reports. "This is truly embarrassing," a party official quoted Ichiro Ozawa as saying. The Democratic Party of Japan had asked Ozawa to reconsider, fearing a split in the party and a weak election showing.

The opposition captured the upper house of parliament in July and has prevented new PM Yasuo Fukuda from moving any legislation forward. Ozawa offered his resignation after being criticized for his willingness to entertain the possibility of a coalition government. At issue is Japanese navy support to coalition troops in Afghanistan, the BBC reports; approval expired November 1, and the opposition is resisting government efforts to renew the mandate.