• Kyodo

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Shiga Gov. Yukiko Kada, who formed Nippon Mirai no To (Tomorrow Party of Japan) for the Dec. 16 general election, has decided to quit as head of a local splinter group formed by its breakup, amid criticism she has neglected her gubernatorial duties, sources said Thursday.

Kada heads a small force with the same name as the antinuclear party, which she cofounded just days before the Lower House election. That party broke up last week after an internal rift with ex-followers of Kokumin no Seikatsu ga Daiichi (People’s Life First), a party it absorbed before its disastrous performance in the election.

Kada formed Nippon Mirai with House of Representatives lawmaker Tomoko Abe. After the breakup, the remnants of the original party were renamed Seikatsu no To (Lifestyle Party) and is run by supporters of Diet heavyweight Ichiro Ozawa, who headed the absorbed party.

The governor, who is expected to formally announce her decision as early as Friday, will remain a member of Nippon Mirai and may eventually look again to enter national politics, the sources said.

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