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Japanese defense chief hints he might resign

A political crisis over Japan's foreign and security policies deepened when Defense Minister Joji Omura indicated he might resign because of the conduct of American and Japanese warships exercising at sea.

Mr. Omura told the Cabinet Affairs Committee of parliament that the Defense Ministry was taking precautionary measures to stop maneuvering warships from cutting the fishing nets of Japanese fishermen.

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"But if another incident should occur, I would like to make it clear where my responsibility rests," he said, indicating he would, in Japanese fashion, accept responsibility and leave off ice.

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