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TOKYO -- A Japanese politician whose sobbing apology became a viral sensation tendered his resignation on Friday. Ryutaro Nonomura, an assemblyman in the Hyogo Prefecture, burst into tears during a news conference that followed accusations that he spent up to $30,000 of taxpayer funds on trips to a hot springs.

Nonomura, 47, uttered nonsensical phrases and banged on the desk during the bizarre media event. "To change Japan and society," he said in a choked voice, stopping mid-sentence, sometimes sobbing so loud he was shouting. "I'm putting my life on the line."


- Arata Yamamoto