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Saturday, August 25, 2007 5:34 pm

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Resigning Koike criticizes opposition

Defense Minister Yuriko Koike, who while on a state visit in India Friday announced she did not seek to retain her position in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet after next week’s reshuffle, returned to Japan on Saturday morning and held a press conference at the Narita International Airport, the Asahi Shimbun reports.

“Even if the Aegis information leak happened before I was inaugurated, I want to draw a line,” Koike told reporters at the conference of her decision to leave the Cabinet, citing an information leak scandal that happened several months before she stepped into office, under her predecessor Fumio Kyuma, who was forced to hand in his resignation in July over comments that seemed to belittle the U.S. World War II atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Koike also revealed another reason for her resignation: “The next diet session will be very important. For it to go smoothly, I think the best would be for a new person to step in.” Koike went on to criticize the opposition, claiming they will use “anything as material” to oppose the extension of the anti-terrorism law, referring to her recent and highly publicized showdown with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki over Koike’s attempt to replace her vice minister without first notifying Shiozaki.

The minister also clarified that she wanted to continue to work for the Liberal Democratic Party in another position even after the Cabinet reshuffle, and said she had also informed the Prime Minister of this.

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 Koike decides to leave post, cites responsibility over information leak
 Japan’s oldest person dies at age of 113, one week after the demise of previous record-holder
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