Ichiro Ozawa, former president of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, was acquitted Thursday of conspiring with former aides to make false financial reports in his political fund management body Rikuzankai in 2004 and 2005.

The acquittal by the Tokyo District Court could signal a major turning point for the political world of Nagata-cho, as Ozawa is now expected to pull out all the stops in a bid to regain the helm of the ruling DPJ.

His prime target will be Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, the current DPJ president, and Noda's key bill to double the consumption tax to 10 percent by 2015.