Japan Becomes the New Italy
Japan's Premier Resigns Position After 11 Months
By Blaine Harden and Akiko Yamamoto Washington Post Foreign Service Tuesday, September 2, 2008; A10
MANILA, Sept. 1 -- Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, after less than a year of listless leadership over a sour economy, said Monday that he was resigning to prevent a "political vacuum" that could further weaken Japan's government.
The surprise announcement marks the second time in two years that a deeply unpopular, politically stymied and seemingly directionless Japanese leader has called it quits after serving less than 12 months in office. Fukuda's predecessor, Shinzo Abe, resigned last September.
. . . A parliament paralyzed by political division. "It is a fact that it took very long to decide on anything," Fukuda said in a nationally televised news conference Monday night.
The LDP had more or less run Japan as a single-party state since the 1950s. But it lost control of the upper house of parliament in the summer of 2007 to the o…