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Prime Minister Taro Aso’s plan to split the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry in two has apparently failed amid protests from members of his Liberal Democratic Party, drawing his leadership ability into question once again.

In mid-May, Aso proposed splitting the ministry so that one half could deal with social security issues, such as pensions, medical treatment and nursing care for the elderly, and the other could tackle issues like employment and the declining birth rate.

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