Japan PM survives confidence vote

Japan's prime minister survived a no-confidence motion on Thursday after reaching an 11th hour deal with a major opposition party over his much-cherished sales tax bill.

Yoshihiko Noda brushed off the attack by a phalanx of minor parties, including former rebels from his own disintegrating bloc, which comes ahead of an expected vote Friday on his plan to double consumption tax.

The main opposition Liberal Democratic Party had, in recent days, begun to renege on its promise to back the legislation, which independent commentators say is a good first step on the long road to overhauling Japan's huge debt pile, worth twice its GDP.

But after exacting a somewhat vague promise from the premier that he would hold a general election "in the near future", the LDP -- who are expected to be the main beneficiaries of his sliding popularity -- indicated they would not support the move.

The motion of no-confidence was defeated by a majority of around three-to-one. Broadcaster NHK reported that many LDP lawmakers stayed away from the session.

Analysts say the politically unpopular tax hike and the deals Noda has had to strike to give it a fighting parliamentary chance are likely to further shorten the life of his relatively young administration.

But in a country that has seen six new premiers in as many years, getting something tangible on the statute book is a major achievement likely to cement his place in history, they said.

With rebellions coming thick and fast from his own fractious party and no majority in the upper house, Noda had to offer his conservative opponents an electoral carrot for the bill, which will also overhaul Japan's precariously balanced social security system.

But members of the governing Democratic Party of Japan are keen to avoid polls before absolutely necessary because of the risk of them being unseated, said Tetsuro Kato, professor of politics at Hitotsubashi University.

"A movement to oust Noda from the premier's post may begin and his re-election in the party presidential vote in September is now doubtful," he said.

"Sure, the tax hike is an important issue in the context of the global environment where Europe is suffering from a sovereign debt crisis, and so Noda would earn his name in history.

"But with a political crisis just postponed after the agreement with the opposition, Noda's government is destined to be as short-lived as his predecessors' were," Kato said.

The bill to increase consumption tax from five to 10 percent by 2015 passed the powerful lower house in June with support from the LDP and their junior opposition partner New Komeito, despite a DPJ rebellion.

It is now expected to go to a vote in the upper house on Friday.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippines backs support for small enterprises at APEC meet

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines' top trade official on Saturday called for support for the integration of micro, small and medium enterprises in global trade, which he said would help reduce poverty and inequality in the Asia-Pacific region. …

  • US renews travel warning to Mindanao
    US renews travel warning to Mindanao

    The US State Department renewed its warning about the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu archipelago, certain regions and cities of Mindanao and the southern Sulu Sea area. In an update on Wednesday of a travel warning it issued Nov. 20, 2014, the State Department said US citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu archipelago due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there. …

  • Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda
    Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda

    The Philippine initiative to put the interests of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) front and center in global and regional trade has made significant progress following the conclusion on Thursday of the 2nd APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM2) and Related Meetings in Boracay, Aklan. Called “The Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs,” the Philippine proposal calls for a host of specific, concrete and practical interventions that APEC economies can implement to provide MSMEs wider …

  • Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week
    Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week

    The Philippines will join a 15-nation meeting in Bangkok, Thailand next week to address the migration crisis involving thousands of Rohingyas who escaped persecution in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima bared this yesterday after meeting with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) representative to the Philippines Bernard Kerblat. In an interview, De Lima said the Philippine government has been invited to the meeting. …

  • Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon
    Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon

    LEGAZPI CITY—A magnitude 4.2 earthquake hit Prieto Diaz town in Sorsogon before dawn yesterday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said. …

  • Drought-resistant rice breeds bared
    Drought-resistant rice breeds bared

    SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija – Amid the searing heat, the Philippine Rice Research Institute central experiment station here has identified nine rice breeds which have been proven to be drought-resistant and produce high yields in temperatures as high as 38°C based on a recent study. Thelma Padolina, lead researcher of the study titled “Screening of rice-induced mutants for heat and drought tolerance,” identified the breeding lines as the Ballatinaw lines, PSB Rc72H and Azucena lines. …

  • Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning
    Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning

    The United States military will continue air and sea patrols in international waters even after the Chinese navy repeatedly warned a US surveillance plane to leave the airspace over artificial islands China is creating in the disputed South China Sea. The Philippine government also declared it would continue activities in the region, calling on China to respect freedom of navigation and aviation. “Our position on the importance of letting freedom of navigation, freedom of aviation and …

  • MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned
    MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned

    Electricity and mobile phone services would be cut throughout Metro Manila, and all private and government offices and businesses, including shopping malls, would be closed. That would be the situation on July 16 between 3 and 8 p.m. to simulate the scenario of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has warned that an earthquake of that magnitude could occur and kill at least 33,500 people and injure at least 113,600 others following a …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options