Japan's political fixer replaced

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The Independent Online
TOKYO (Reuter) - The ruling party's former secretary-general, Keizo Obuchi, was chosen yesterday to succeed the disgraced kingpin of Japan's politics, Shin Kanemaru, TBS television said.

Mr Obuchi, a 55-year-old close aide to the former premier, Noboru Takeshita, defeated the Finance Minister, Tsutomu Hata, in a backroom power struggle to succeed Mr Kanemaru's as the chairman of the dominant faction within the Liberal Democratic Party which has has dominated Japanese politics for 20 years.

Mr Kanemaru resigned last week over a funding scandal and his links with illegal gangsters.

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