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Japan's main opposition leader leaves hospital

Japan's main opposition leader leaves hospital

Japanese main opposition leader Ichiro Ozawa left a hospital Thursday, ending a longer-than-expected stay following his re-election to lead his party, officials said.
Ozawa, 64, was hospitalized on Sept. 25 after feeling unwell at a news conference following the Democratic Party of Japan convention, where he was re-elected to the post.
He has a chronic heart problem, and his latest hospitalization has raised concerns over his health.
However, party spokesman Naoki Takiguchi said Thursday medical tests during Ozawa's 10-day hospitalization found no major health problems, and Ozawa was expected to attend a party executive meeting later in the day.
Ozawa has led the Democratic Party of Japan or DPJ since April, filling in the remainder of the term left by the previous party head, Seiji Maehara, who stepped down over a fake e-mail scandal. Ozawa was re-elected to stay on as leader for the new term.
Ozawa, a former heavyweight in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party or LDP, is seen as having the political clout and experience needed to take on the ruling party.
In the Sept. 26 vote for the prime ministership in Parliament, Ozawa lost to Shinzo Abe.
Ozawa served as the LDP's secretary general three times before breaking with the party in 1993 to help found the now-defunct Japan New Party. That party was instrumental in breaking the LDP's nearly 40 years of uninterrupted power when, together with several other small parties, it formed a coalition government in 1993.
Ozawa formed the Liberal Party in 1998, before joining the Democrats in 2003. He is known for his abrasive leadership and for favoring an expanded role for the country's military in international peacekeeping operations


Updated : 2021-04-13 10:08 GMT+08:00