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Yomiuri picks up on the worries and sentiments of some of the groups covered in the original post:

Abe decision shocks those close to pet issues
The Yomiuri Shimbun
Sep. 13, 2007

Those connected to issues that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe devoted particular energy to, expressed shock at his sudden announcement Wednesday that he intended to resign.

Shigeo Iizuka, vice representative of the Association of Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea, said, “Abe was one of the country’s politicians who gave the most serious thought to the abduction issue and eagerly worked to resolve it.”

“It may cause serious problems for us if he really resigns. I hope we can find someone [new] who will prioritize the abduction issue,” he said.

Iizuka expressed hope Abe would stay in office for a while longer, adding: “He may be exhausted because he’s been under so much pressure. I believe it’s too early for him to resign.”

The group’s secretary general, Teruaki Masumoto, said: “I’m really surprised. I’m at a loss for words. But I want to properly respond to the situation.”

Shizuoka University of Art and Culture President Heita Kawakatsu, a member of the Education Rebuilding Council, regretted Abe’s announcement, saying discussion at the council was approaching a crucial stage.

“I thought he’d seek the judgment of the public after getting the Diet to pass [an extension of] the Antiterrorism Law. I’m not convinced about the timing of this,” Kawakatsu said.

With Aso as the front-runner, these groups may have some hope of maintaining their strength. The question, however, remains: What does Aso stand for?



  1. Hello!
    I’m writing from the BBC radio programme World Have Your Say which is broadcast at 6 p.m. in London. Today on the show we’re discussing the sudden resignation of the Japanese PM. I’m curious to see if you’d like to share your views on what this means to the country and the political mood it has set. You can contact me at If you send me your phone number I can ring you back from London.

  2. I wish I had caught this sooner :(

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