Abe arrives at a news conference
to announce his resignation [Reuters]
Shinzo Abe's earlier reference to himself as a "fighting politician", now rings hollow as Japan's ruling party scrambles to regain public confidence lost during a dismal prime ministerial term that did not extend to a year.

Abe attempted to rejuvenate Japan's identity by revising the nation's education law, elevating the Japan Defence Agency to ministerial status, and testing the waters on changing Japan's "no war" constitution.

His approach to symbolic reforms never resonated with a public disgruntled over the government's mismanagement of 50 million pension records, along with a series of financial scandals that led to the resignation of four ministers and the suicide of one.

Outspoken economics professor Noriko Hama tells 101 East she hopes that Abe's fall marks the beginning of the end of political dominance, and subsequent endemic corruption, by Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic party.

Other guests in our discussion are leading Abe adviser Hisahiko Okazaki and Singapore-based political commentator Hiro Katsumata.

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This episode of 101 East aired on Thursday 20th September 2007

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