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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 November 2007, 08:10 GMT
Japan opposition chief to resign
Ichiro Ozawa
Ichiro Ozawa said he regretted causing confusion in his party
Japan's main opposition leader Ichiro Ozawa has offered to resign from his position as head of the Democratic Party of Japan.

Mr Ozawa's announcement came after he took criticism within his party for not immediately turning down a coalition offer from the country's new leader.

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda offered Mr Ozawa a deal on Friday.

Japan has faced legislative deadlock in recent weeks, with the country's role in Afghanistan a key area of dispute.

Mr Ozawa told a news conference that he had not said he was leaving the Democratic Party but wanted to think about his future political activities, the Associated Press reports.

He said he had offered his resignation because of the confusion he had caused within his party.

"There was political confusion over the prime minister's proposal to form a coalition," AFP news agency quoted Mr Ozawa as saying.

"To take my responsibility, I decided to resign as the representative of the Democratic Party."

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