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Friday, March 2, 2012

Head of war-dead group steps down


Former Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Makoto Koga has resigned as chairman of the Japan War\-Bereaved Families Association after heading it for a decade, to take responsibility over two quake-related deaths last year at a Tokyo facility run by the group, association sources said.

The association (Nippon Izokukai) of people who lost military relatives in the war is a powerful support base for the LDP.

Koga, whose father was killed in action in the Philippines in 1942 when he was 2, took the helm in February 2002. He has long been critical of the collective enshrinement of Class-A war criminals at Yasukuni Shrine and wants them enshrined separately from the war dead.

Koga offered to resign to take responsibility as head of the group over the deaths of two women killed when parts of the ceiling of the Kudan Kaikan hall in Chiyoda Ward collapsed in the March 11 quake. Many people were hurt.

The offer to quit came after the women's kin filed a criminal complaint against Koga and other officials of the group in May, alleging professional negligence resulting in death and injuries for failure to ensure the ceiling was safe.

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