Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama accepted Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii's resignation on Wednesday, and replaced him with Deputy Prime Minister Naoto Kan.
[Yukio Hatoyama, Japanese Prime Minister]:
"He submitted the medical test results and letter of resignation this afternoon, and since it was about his health concern, I could not help accepting his resignation."
77-year-old Fuji is battling health issues. He was admitted to a hospital for tests last week.
The job as finance minister was just exhausting him, and finalizing Japan's budget could have added more stress.
[Hirohisa Fujii, Japanese Finance Minister]:
"In fact, I was pretty tired recently."
Fujii has often served as the voice of fiscal restraint. His departure adds to the challenges piling up for the government as it wrestles with deflation, a fragile economy and huge public debt.