Japan's finance minister hints to quit due to health reasons

19:00, January 05, 2010      

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The finance minister of the government of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Hirohisa Fujii spoke to Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama on Tuesday about health issues, hinting that he may resign upon doctor's advice.

"It is about time that the matter came to a conclusion," Fujii said at a news conference on Tuesday after meeting Hatoyama.

The 77-year-old is one of the most experienced members of the Hatoyama cabinet, and was admitted to hospital in late December after suffering from exhaustion. The finance minister is said to have high blood pressure.

Fujii has struggled to formulate a budget for fiscal 2010, amid an economic decline and pressure to make sure his party follows through on its campaign promise to transfer public spending away from public-works projects and into schemes that will benefit struggling households.

When pressed by media about the chance he will resign, Fujii said, "I am not willing to comment on a hypothetical issue."

Fujii has also canceled his regularly scheduled finance ministry news conference that was scheduled for Wednesday.

The DPJ and Fujii have come under fire after the government announced a 92.3 trillion yen (1 trillion dollar) budget, the biggest in Japanese history.

In its manifesto, on which it campaigned in the build up to a landslide election victory in the summer, the DPJ had promised to eliminate wasteful spending and steer the nation to fiscal responsibility.

Source: Xinhua
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