Former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa walked away from Shinshinto on June 18, dealing a fresh blow to the already troubled leadership of party chief Ichiro Ozawa.

At a hastily arranged news conference, Hosokawa said his departure from the largest opposition party is a bid to “break the deadlock in the nation’s politics” — a hackneyed phrase often used by opposition lawmakers in similar situations. He said further realignment of the parties is needed so lawmakers can live up to public expectations for reform.

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