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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hosokawa May Retire

Japan's prime minister, playing for high stakes in his drive to end political corruption, said Thursday he would not cling to power if his reforms were killed off.

"I would not insist on the post of prime minister if I could not deliver on my promise to all the people of Japan to realize political reform," Morihiro Hosokawa told a pro-reform forum. Hosokawa's statement ended days of speculation over what he would do if he failed to rescue plans to overhaul the discredited political systems.

The four-bill reform package must pass by Saturday, when the legislative session ends, or be lost, but Hosokawa's chances of success are slim. He suffered a humiliating defeat when the Upper House rejected his bills last Friday, and now the opposition Liberal Democratic Party is balking at compromise.