Monday, April 05, 2010

Japanese opposition "implosion"!

Debating about a new Law at the Japanese Parliament can be sporty

Former Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano and ultra conservative independent lawmaker Takeo Hiranuma have agreed to launch a new party. Yosano and Hiranuma are expected to serve as joint heads of the new party. Yosano told Liberal Democratic Party President Sadakazu Tanigaki earlier Saturday that he will leave the main opposition party Wednesday. In addition to Yosano and Hiranuma, Lawmaker Hiroyuki Sonoda and Takao Fujii, former transport minister and an LDP member in the House of Councilors, will likely join the envisaged new party. Among other possible members is Yoshio Nakagawa, a conservative LDP Upper House lawmaker, who is close to Hiranuma.

Yosano and Sonoda have criticized Tanigaki for the LDP's failure to take advantage of repeated blunders by the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and the party's inability to improve its popularity ratings, which remain sluggish since its historic defeat in last year's general election. The four also shared concerns that Japan would "collapse" if the Hatoyama administration stays in office, voicing opposition to its fiscal management and plan to grant permanent foreign residents the right to vote in local elections.

In a magazine article in March, Yosano, who is seeking to raise the consumption tax, slammed the Hatoyama administration for its failure to rebuild the nation's battered finances, as well as Tanigaki for his inability to overturn the government. Hiranuma, former economy, trade and industry minister, was effectively expelled from the LDP in 2005 due to his opposition to a postal privatization bill spearheaded by then Prime Minister and LDP President Junichiro Koizumi. Asked about the plan by reporters Friday, Hiranuma said, "The sooner, the better." The resignation of Yosano and Sonoda comes after former Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Kunio Hatoyama, the younger brother of the Prime Minister, left the LDP in March.

Within LDP, popular politician and former Health minister Masuzoe Yoichi carries on with his criticism of Tanigaki and the LDP executives, complaining on the LDP leaders for "lacking the will, the ability, and the strategy" necessary to lead the party. An other popular politician, Tokyo Metropolitan Governor Shintaro Ishihara, co-author of the 1989 bestseller “The Japan That Can Say No,” stated that he is a “supporter” of Yosano’s new group. “It will certainly be a plus for Japanese conservatism.”

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