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    The Japanese Prime Minister Mr. Takeo Miki, announced on Friday (17 December) his intention to?

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    The Japanese Prime Minister Mr. Takeo Miki, announced on Friday (17 December) his intention to resign.

    SYNOPSIS: Mr. Miki sent a letter explaining his intention to Parry Executives whom he met with on Friday (17 December). Mr. Miki, 69, accepted responsibility for his Liberal Democratic Party's setback in the Lower House elections on the fifth of December when it lost its working majority for the first time in 21 years. He said he would step down next week. He said he would also resign as Party President, but at the same time he called for wide reaching reforms to end factionalism in the party and the stranglehold of the old guard on party affairs. After a meeting later with Cabinet members he visited the Imperial Palace to advise Emperor Hirohito of his intentions. Mr. Miki's decision to resign has been welcomed by business leaders. Share prices rose on the Tokyo Stock Exchange after the announcement.

    Mr. Miki's resignation leaves the way clear for Mr. Miki's rival, Mr. Takeo Fukuda, 71, to make a bid for party leadership, providing Mr. Miki's Parliamentary supporters do not withdraw their support for what would be the party's official candidate. In Mr. Fukuda's favour is his success as a former Deputy Prime Minister and Director General of the Economic Planning Agency when he help lead Japan out of a period of high inflation and through a recession. Liberal Democratic Party Parliamentarians will meet on twenty fourth of December to select a candidate for the Premiership.

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