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Tuesday, 3 December, 2002, 06:31 GMT
Japanese opposition chief to resign
The leader of Japan's largest opposition party has announced his resignation following strong criticism of his plan for a merger with smaller opposition groups.

Last week, Yukio Hatoyama suggested that his Democratic Party's best chance of challenging the government of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi was to create one united opposition force.

But he was attacked by Democratic Party members for moving ahead without their approval.

After meeting senior party officials, Mr Hatoyama said he would stand down by the end of the current special session of parliament on 13 December.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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