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Japanese opposition leader offers to step down

Japanese opposition leader offers to step down
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Japan’s main opposition leader says he has decided to resign. Ichiro Ozawa made the announcement just days after his party rejected an offer from the prime minister to join a new coalition and end a deadlock in parliament.

Ozawa, who heads the Democratic Party, strongly denied media reports that in fact he had taken the initiative in suggesting an alliance.

However he acknowledged that he had failed to win party support for a proposal to enter policy talks with those in power, describing this as equivalent to a vote of no confidence.

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda sounded out the opposition leader on Friday about forming a new ruling coalition. The offer was rejeccted by Democratic Party executives.