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The departure of trade and industry minister Yuko Obuchi, if it comes to pass, will be a bad omen for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is attempting to focus on two key issues before the extraordinary Diet session ends in November: economic recovery and the empowerment of women in Japanese society.

On Saturday, Obuchi reportedly decided to resign over shady spending by her political support groups, according to Kyodo News. She was reportedly scheduled to meet with Abe the same day to discuss the decision but later told reporters in Tokyo the meeting was off.

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