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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and opposition heavyweight Katsuya Okada argued emotionally in the Diet on Tuesday over Abe’s recent remark that Japan was going through a “nightmare” before his Liberal Democratic Party returned to power in 2012.

At a meeting of the House of Representatives Budget Committee, Okada, who served as deputy prime minister under the administration of the now-defunct Democratic Party of Japan, urged Abe to retract the remark. The prime minister flatly rejected the demand.

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