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Japan at 'historic turning point': opposition leader

world Updated: Jul 30, 2009 13:33 IST
AFP
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Opposition leader Yukio Hatoyama, tipped to become prime minister in elections next month, said Monday Japan was "at a historic turning point" as he outlined his party's plans to remake the nation.

"We are at a historic turning point, not only in the sense that we will end the long-running LDP (Liberal Democratic Party) government," said Hatoyama.

A government change would also "make up for two lost decades" economically and end the rising influence of state bureaucrats that started when Japan opened its doors to the outside world in the late 19th century, he said.

"We intend to make the people the main players in politics," added the head of the biggest opposition group, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which has been leading in opinion polls ahead of the August 30 lower house election.

The business-friendly LDP, led by unpopular Prime Minister Taro Aso, has governed Japan continuously since the conservative party's foundation in 1955, except for one 10-month stretch in the early 1990s.