Yoshihiko Miyauchi, chairman of Orix Corp., tendered his resignation Thursday as chairman of the government’s deregulation panel. The resignation was accepted by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

The panel, the Council for the Promotion of Regulatory Reform, was backed strongly by Koizumi, and Miyauchi apparently decided to step down ahead of the prime minister’s own resignation next week.

“I have been receiving support and backup from the Koizumi reforms, so I think it is the right time to resign,” Miyauchi told reporters after tendering his resignation.

The chairman of the major leasing and financial services company has served the government as an outside expert for some 10 years and promoted a wide range of deregulatory measures, including the contracting of public services to the private sector.

His successor will be appointed by Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe, who is expected by become prime minister on Tuesday.

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