Cracks appear in Japan’s ruling party

Cracks began to appear in the government of Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan Thursday when a senior official resigned over the suspension of a key party figure.

Kenko Matsuki, a lawmaker of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), tendered his resignation as a parliamentary secretary at the farm ministry over the treatment of his faction boss, Ichiro Ozawa.

"I have received and accepted the resignation," Kan told reporters at his official residence. "It is very regrettable."

On Tuesday, Kan suspended Ozawa’s party membership until the end of a trial over a funding scandal.

Japanese media reported that other government-post holding Ozawa supporters or sympathisers could follow Matsuki’s lead, heaping pressure on Kan, Japan’s fifth premier in as many years, to resign or call snap elections.

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