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In rare move, Japanese minister to take paternity leave

As first child is born, Koizumi paves way for fathers in and out of government

Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi and his wife, Christel Takigawa, speak to reporters on Aug. 7. (Photo by Uichiro Kasai)

TOKYO -- Japanese Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi announced Friday that his wife had given birth to the couple's first child, a boy, in the morning. He plans to take about two weeks of parental leave in a highly unusual move that could encourage more new fathers to stay home.

Koizumi is the son of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and is considered a potential successor to current leader Shinzo Abe. He is married to TV presenter Christel Takigawa.

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