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For the past decade, only a handful of Liberal Democratic Party politicians could claim the title power broker, and former Prime Minister Taro Aso was one of them. A close ally of Shinzo Abe and leader of one of the LDP’s largest factions, Aso was a force to be reckoned with inside Tokyo’s political circles.

That is, until four members of his faction cut ties this past week and revealed the hollowing out of his power base that started a few months ago.

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