The two non-Cabinet allies of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party agreed Sept. 16 to demand the resignation of Koko Sato, who was appointed head of the Management and Coordination Agency last week even though he was convicted in the 1970s Lockheed bribery scandal.

The Social Democratic Party and New Party Sakigake did not make it clear whether they will remain LDP allies if Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, the president of the LDP, fails to meet their request. However, SDP leader Takako Doi said during a meeting of party members earlier in the day, “This is an important issue that will affect the party’s future,” implying that the party could end the alliance with the LDP.

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