A Test Of Fire For A Samurai

With the flourish of samurai politics, powerful Finance Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto offered last month to make a "beautiful exit" and resign to put an end to Japan's snowballing financial scandals. "Cutting my neck," he told power brokers in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, "would be the cleanest way to go." They appealed to his fighter instincts to stay on.

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