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Nagano resigns over war crimes row

Tokyo - The Justice Minister, Shigeto Nagano, resigned yesterday after his attempt to whitewash Japan's deeds in Asia during the Second World War ignited a furious controversy in neighbouring countries.

He had provoked fierce protests by denying that Japan waged an aggressive war in Asia in the 1930s and 1940s or massacred Chinese civilians in 'the Rape of Nanking'.

Hiroshi Nakai, a former deputy secretary-general of the Democratic Socialist Party, with no experience in government, was named as Mr Nagano's replacement. Reuter