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Japan's Prime Minister Resigns, Clears Way for Successor


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his cabinet members formally resigned Tuesday, paving the way for the election of former chief Cabinet secretary Yasuo Fukuda as prime minister.

Mr. Abe announced his plans to resign from the post earlier this month after a scandal-plagued first year in office.

On Monday, in his first public appearance since announcing his resignation, the outgoing prime minister said illness was the main reason he decided to step down.

He was hospitalized September 13, one day after announcing he would step down.

The resignation of Mr. Abe and his cabinet is a formality. It comes hours before the Japanese parliament is expected to elect Fukuda, a former chief Cabinet secretary, as the new premier.

On Sunday, Mr. Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party chose Fukuda to take over the party and become prime minister.

On Monday, Fukuda selected new party leaders in an effort to revive and rebuild public trust in the LDP.

He chose Education Minister Ibuki Bunmei to become the LDP's secretary-general. Bunmei will replace Taro Aso, who ran against Fukuda for the party leadership.

A former finance minister, Sadakazu Tanigaki, and a former trade minister, Toshihiro Nikai, will also move into key party positions.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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