. . . Political Situation - INFO 01

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SPECIAL : The Political Situation



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Since May 2011 and maybe even before that, the opposition is trying hard to oust prime minister Kan, even on his trip to Europe they kept going ...



Most of the population does not want a change of government right now, though.



This political infight at a time when unity and support for the people of Tohoku is needes most of all is quite sad to observe.



The main source of the bulletins is from

source : NHK world news .



Here I collect updates of the development.

Since this is going to take more time than I envisaged, it will come in more parts.







Prime Minister Naoto Kan 菅直人



. The Political Situation - Part 2 .

From Monday, June 6 - June 30



. The Political Situation - Part 3 .

From July 2011 -



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Sunday, May 29, 2011 11:09, NHK

Parties working on no-confidence motion

Prime Minister Naoto Kan 菅直人 may face a no-confidence motion from the political opposition.

Kan returned to Japan on Sunday morning after he attended the Group of 8 summit and other meetings in France and Belgium.

During his overseas trip, the leading opposition Liberal Democratic Party was working on a no-confidence motion against the Kan cabinet.

On Saturday, LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki said the current political situation needs a breakthrough and that he is determined to accept the responsibility.

Some members of the governing Democratic Party of Japan, mainly those close to former leader Ichiro Ozawa, are moving to support the motion. Ozawa himself has not denied such a possibility, saying that Prime Minister Kan should be replaced as soon as possible.

In Belgium, Kan told reporters that he believes his party will unite in voting against a no-confidence motion, as his administration needs to deal with the aftermath of the March 11th disaster and nuclear accident in Fukushima.

Kan said he hopes to seek the cooperation of former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and other former party heads to oppose such a move.

DPJ leaders say the party will deal harshly with members who support the motion. Expulsion from the party is one possibility.



. . . . .



Monday, May 30, 2011 19:28

Kan's government faces no-confidence motion

The opposition Liberal Democratic and New Komeito parties have agreed to submit by the end of the week a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Naoto Kan's government.

The joint move was confirmed on Monday during talks between the 2 parties' secretaries general and diet affairs chiefs.

LDP Secretary General Nobuteru Ishihara says party president Sadakazu Tanigaki will decide the timing of the motion, but that he would like to coordinate it with the New Komeito Party.

His New Komeito counterpart, Yoshihisa Inoue, has agreed to step up procedures within his party so that the motion can be submitted jointly.

Both sides agreed to grill Prime Minister Kan in the Diet on Tuesday and Wednesday over his response to the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

They also agreed to call on other opposition parties to join in the no-confidence motion.

LDP President Tanigaki said reconstruction of the regions damaged by the March 11th disaster will be slow under the Kan administration, and that it's time to show his party's readiness to take charge.

Meanwhile, executives of the ruling Democratic Party have agreed to deal harshly with party members who break ranks and vote in favor of a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Naoto Kan's government.

DPJ Secretary General Katsuya Okada said on Monday the party will work in solidarity to defeat the motion.

He said lawmakers who boycott the voting in the Diet will also be dealt with.

Earlier on Monday, Okada met party Diet affairs chief, Jun Azumi, to discuss the party's response to lawmakers close to former party leader Ichiro Ozawa who are indicating they will support the motion.

They agreed to step up action against such moves.

DPJ deputy leader Kenji Yamaoka, who is close to Ozawa, told Shizuka Kamei, head of junior coalition partner the People's New Party, that a number of DPJ lawmakers may vote in favor of the motion, should it be submitted to the Diet.

Kamei criticized such an action, saying that Japan has just experienced a major natural disaster of anunprecedented scale, and that this is not a time to be thinking about replacing the prime minister.





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Monday, May 30, 2011



quote

Changing Japan's system to handle the 'unexpected'

By HIROMI MURAKAMI

Faced with an unprecedented crisis that was triggered by the combined disasters of the recent earthquake and tsunami, Japan is continuing to struggle with the radiation leak and sealing of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

...

While there were many willing and committed people on the ground, it was a disappointment for Japanese people to see the fragile chain of command in crisis management as well as an indecisive political/industrial leadership.



Furthermore, Japanese people are furious that the very system built to protect them has instead allowed the manipulation of safety standards and tolerated the existence of collusive relationship among politics, bureaucracy, industry, and academia, which was embraced and encouraged by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) campaign money and its propaganda.

...

Powerful lobbyists often discourage people from voicing their concerns by informally threatening them with retaliation or being intimidating them with nasty, negative campaigns.

...

Dominated by the Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) half-century rule by closely knit industry leaders holding on to the memory of past success, this system has continued to thrive until today even though the Democratic Party of Japan replaced the administration. This is because it has long been actively or passively embraced by the media, along with the bureaucracy, industries, and academia.



For example, Tepco-funded LDP politicians created a dependent system by making local authorities dependent on nuclear power plant subsidies. A cozy government-Tepco relationship was reinforced by Tepco's acceptance of retired officials in a process known as amakudari ("descent from heaven") from the ministry supervising Tepco or public corporations chiefly funded by Tepco, and Tepco-funded academics provide technical information for safety discussions at government committees.



Using the position as a significant sponsor in the media, Tepco has effectively wiped out advocates of anti-nuclear energy by damaging their reputation or credibility.

...

"Unexpected" is a term repeated over and over again by Tepco representatives, but "unexpected" is exactly what should be anticipated in a flawed system in a risk-averse society. Resilience is tested in crisis, and we can now easily see commentators who have lost credibility as Twitter revealed their dark connections with Tepco.

source : Japan Times





quote

Nuclear Meltdown Feeds Tokyo’s Inertia

Ten weeks after the earthquake and tsunami, it’s tempting to give Japan a new name: Tepco Nation.



What else is the world to think? Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s shameful mismanagement of the melt down at the Fukushima Dai- Ichi nuclear plant has cast a real and figurative radioactive cloud over Japan’s economy. And yet leaders here still are coddling a company vilified globally on a level that matches BP Plc at the height of last year’s Gulf of Mexico oil-well blowout.



Japan once indulged in the notion that its economy was a macro version of Toyota Motor Corp. (7203), a name associated with innovation, quality and the nation’s powerful rise from the ruins of World War II. No one is happy about the Tepco-ization of Japan’s reputation. Until now, Tepco was a symbol of the incestuous ties between government and industry. Today, it’s emblematic of something more dangerous: a leadership vacuum at the worst possible moment.

...

It’s a valid verdict. The March 11 disaster did more than push Japan into its third recession in a decade. It highlighted how leaders from Prime Minister Naoto Kan on down act as if it’s still business as usual in a capital beset by an extraordinary crisis.

... Leadership Vacuum

Not surprisingly, demands for Kan -- the fourth Japanese premier since President Barack Obama took office -- to step down are growing louder. His public approval is about 26 percent, less than half the level after he became prime minister last June, the Asahi newspaper reported last week.

Kan’s Democratic Party of Japan and the opposition Liberal Democratic Party refuse to join hands to rebuild the nation’s shattered confidence. And there’s still the expectation that the Bank of Japan (8301) will somehow bail out the economy, even though its stimulus efforts have failed for two decades to end the bust that followed the bubble years of the 1980s.

The DPJ and LDP are barely on speaking terms. Each party is more concerned with scoring cheap political points than revitalizing the nation. The government lacks plans to rebuild, end the nuclear crisis, avoid credit-rating downgrades, prepare for an aging population, end deflation and boost competitiveness. Confidence in the future dwindles further, reducing both consumption and business investment.

...

Japan needs a grand coalition.

The parties should put aside pettiness and merge for a time, so they can work to restore normalcy for the nation’s 127 million people. Their most urgent challenge is to rein in Tepco, perhaps even break it up, before its failings do more damage to the Japan brand.

source : www.bloomberg.com



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May 31, 2011



Tuesday, May 31, 2011 19:39

LDP to submit no-confidence motion by Thursday

Main opposition Liberal Democratic Party leader Sadakazu Tanigaki says his party will submit a no-confidence motion against the Cabinet of Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Wednesday at the earliest.

Tanigaki told his party's Upper House senior members on Tuesday afternoon that he intends to submit the motion after Wednesday's parliamentary debate with Kan, preferably by Thursday.

Tanigaki added that a final decision on the timing of the motion will be made after discussions with New Komeito and other opposition parties.

LDP Diet affairs chief Ichiro Aisawa has called on the Communist Party and the Your Party to join in the motion.

The parties replied that they are in favor of such a motion but will not become co-sponsors.



Tuesday, May 31, 2011 19:57

Kan to continue seeking opposition cooperation

Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan has rejected calls that he resign, and reiterated his intention to seek cooperation from the opposition in rebuilding areas hit by the March 11th disaster.

Speaking at a Diet committee meeting on Tuesday, the vice president of the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, Tadamori Oshima, said his party is ready to work with the governing Democratic Party if Kan steps down.

Kan said it's regrettable if people think he's staying on as prime minister just to prolong his political career, and that he still hopes to meet LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki to discuss nonpartisan cooperation.

Kan had asked Tanigaki to join the Cabinet immediately after the disaster, but he declined.

Kan also apologized for a series of mistaken announcements by the government and the Tokyo Electric Power Company on the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. He said he will have a government investigative panel look into why there has been so much confusion.

The LDP plans to submit a no-confidence motion against Kan's Cabinet as early as Wednesday. Tanigaki told reporters on Tuesday that it's time for a decision.

The LDP says Kan's handling of the disaster has underscored his incompetence, and that he should resign immediately for the public good.





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June 01, 2011



Kan's foes readying no-confidence vote

The opposition camp stepped up efforts Tuesday to bring down Prime Minister Naoto Kan, preparing to submit a vote of no confidence against him as early as Wednesday.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20110601a1.html





Wednesday, June 01, 2011 07:35, NHK

Parties to submit no-confidence motion against Kan

Two opposition parties are expected to jointly submit a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Naoto Kan as early as Wednesday. The motion is likely to be put to a vote in the House of Representatives on Thursday.

Liberal Democratic Party President Sadakazu Tanigaki and New Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi intend to hold a meeting on Wednesday to make a final decision on the matter.

Members of the Democratic Party led by Kan have also criticized his handling of the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the reconstruction effort after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. If at least 81 Democrats cast "yes" votes, the motion will clear the House of Representatives.

In a speech in Tokyo on Tuesday, Tanigaki said Japan will never rebuild itself if Kan remains in office. He said it is the opposition's responsibility to challenge Prime Minister Kan who has lost the confidence of the public.

Former Democratic Party leader Ichiro Ozawa and legislators close to him have not ruled out the possibility of joining the opposition parties in supporting a no-confidence motion against Kan. Senior Vice Internal Affairs Minister Katsumasa Suzuki says he thinks many Democrat legislators want to change the current situation by supporting the motion.

On Tuesday night, former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama met Kan and suggested that the Prime Minister may need to step down if he is to avoid splitting the Democratic Party. Kan said his role is to tackle the disaster and other matters and he wants to see the party stand together to defeat the motion.

Groups of legislators close to Kan and former Democratic Socialists say they will oppose the no-confidence motion, emphasizing the need to hurry the reconstruction process. Many who support Kan are insisting that the Prime Minister should dissolve the House of Representatives if the motion passes the chamber.

Kan is pursuing a 2nd supplementary budget for the current fiscal year and plans to extend the Diet session to seek its passage. The session is due to close on June 22nd.



Wednesday, June 01, 2011 19:00

Opposition submits no-confidence motion

Three Japanese opposition parties have submitted a no-confidence motion against the Cabinet of Prime Minister Naoto Kan. The motion is expected to be put to a vote in the full session of the Lower House of the Diet on Thursday.

The leader of the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, Sadakazu Tanigaki, and New Komeito party leader Natsuo Yamaguchi agreed on Wednesday to jointly submit the motion.

They said Kan lacks the ability to lead rebuilding efforts following the March 11th earthquake and tsunami, and to end the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The Sunrise Party of Japan also joined in submitting the no-confidence motion, but the Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party declined to do so.

Former Democratic Party leaders Ichiro Ozawa and Yukio Hatoyama have indicated they would vote in favor of the motion. Their decisions are likely to split the main governing party.



Wednesday, June 01, 2011 19:00

Kan rejects LDP's call for his resignation

The leader of Japan's largest opposition Liberal Democratic Party has urged Prime Minister Naoto Kan to resign, claiming he is incapable of achieving the reconstruction of quake-hit northeastern Japan.

Kan stressed he has no intention of resigning.

At a parliamentary debate between party leaders on Wednesday, LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki said the rebuilding of the disaster-hit areas will be unfeasible under Prime Minister Kan.

In response, Kan said that at the moment, lawmakers should place priority on carrying out reconstruction projects and resolving the nuclear crisis at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. He said he is obliged to fulfill his responsibility as prime minister.

Tanigaki also criticized the Kan administration for what he sees as a delay in providing relief to quake survivors even though 80 days have already passed since the disaster.

Kan said his government plans to draw up all-out reconstruction plans and allocate a budget for them. He proposed that the current Diet session, which is scheduled to end on June 22nd, be extended until the end of this year to concentrate on these efforts.



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June 02, 2011



Thursday, June 02, 2011 05:51

Lawmakers to vote on no-confidence motion

Executives of Japan's governing Democratic Party and dissidents are actively lobbying intraparty swing-voters before Thursday's vote on a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Naoto Kan's administration.

Three opposition parties submitted a no-confidence motion to the Lower House of the Diet on Wednesday. Voting will take place at a Lower House plenary session on Thursday afternoon.

LDP president Sadakazu Tanizaki and Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi agreed that Kan lacks the leadership required to rebuild the quake-hit northeastern region and successfully handle the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The Communist Party decided to abstain from the vote and the Social Democrats are likely to do the same.

Now, about 150 opposition lawmakers are expected to vote in favor of the no-confidence motion. Observers say opponents of the Prime Minister need at least 82 votes from within the ruling coalition to secure a 232 vote majority required to pass the motion in the Lower House.

Following the submission of the motion, 5 senior officials of the ruling DPJ, including vice ministers, tendered their resignations.

Nearly 70 DPJ lawmakers told NHK that they will vote in favor of the motion, while some 40 remain undecided.

On Wednesday night, former DPJ leader, Ichiro Ozawa, said after a meeting of more than 70 lawmakers that he will vote for the motion.

Sources close to Ozawa said that more than 80 DPJ lawmakers will join him and the motion is highly likely to be passed.

Former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama also indicated that he will vote against the Cabinet.

The DPJ Secretary General Katsuya Okada and the party's executives said they are confident that motion will be voted down, and they will persuade undecided colleagues to support the Prime Minister.

The party leadership said they intend to expel those who vote to bring down the government.

Kan reportedly expressed his intention to immediately dissolve the Lower House and hold a general election in the event that the motion is passed in the chamber.



Thursday, June 02, 2011 12:00

Kan faces no-confidence vote

Japan's Lower House will vote on a motion of non-confidence in Prime Minister Naoto Kan's Cabinet at a plenary session on Thursday afternoon. The vote is expected to be close, with many members of the ruling party expressing support for the motion.

Voting will begin at 1 PM Thursday, and results are expected around 3 PM.

The main opposition Liberal Democratic Party and 2 other parties submitted the motion on Wednesday, saying Kan lacks the leadership needed to rebuild disaster-hit areas and to handle the nuclear crisis.

On Thursday morning, Kan met with Democratic Party Secretary General Katsuya Okada to discuss the situation.

Also on Thursday morning, Kan's predecessor as party leader and Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama, reiterated his intention of supporting the motion against Kan, saying the party needs to rebuild.

The Communist Party says it will abstain from the vote and the Social Democrats are likely to do the same.

The opposition parties need at least 82 votes from the ruling Democratic Party for the motion to pass.

Nearly 70 DPJ lawmakers have told NHK that they intend to vote for the motion, while close to 40 remain undecided.

If the motion passes, Kan will be forced to either resign along with his Cabinet or dissolve the Lower House for an election. Kan has told close aides that he intends to call an election.





Thursday, June 02, 2011 13:03

Kamei asks Kan to resign

The head of Japan's ruling coalition partner, the People's New Party, has suggested that Prime Minister Naoto Kan should resign.

Shizuka Kamei said Kan should leave his post after finishing the urgent work of responding to the March 11th earthquake and tsunami as well as the Fukushima nuclear accident.

Kamei spoke with reporters on Thursday after meeting with Kan. He said he made what he called a heartbreaking request to the prime minister to end the current political turmoil.

Kamei said Kan replied that he would consider his call. Kamei said Kan is not the type of person to hang on to his post and that it is now up to Kan to make a decision.

.

Edano: Kan will not resign voluntarily

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano has denied the possibility of Prime Minister Naoto Kan stepping down.

Edano spoke to reporters on Thursday, after Shizuka Kamei, the head of the People's New Party which is part of the governing coalition, met Kan. In the meeting Kamei urged Kan to step down after finishing the urgent work of responding to the March 11th earthquake and tsunami as well as the Fukushima nuclear accident.

Edano said the Prime Minister has no intention to abandon the heavy duties imposed upon him.

He also said he is convinced that the non-confidence motion against the cabinet will be voted down in the Lower House later on Thursday.





Thursday, June 02, 2011 13:36

Kan offers to resign after taking care of disaster

Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan says he intends to resign once he fulfills his role in handling issues related to the March 11th disaster and the Fukushima nuclear accident.

Kan made the comment at a meeting of his Democratic Party's Lower House members on Thursday.

The meeting was held just before a Lower House vote on a no-confidence motion submitted by the opposition.

Kan first apologized for causing the party trouble with the vote, saying his shortcomings led to the motion.

Kan said he wants the party's younger generation to take over various responsibilities after he fulfills his role.

Kan said he will focus on 3 matters --

reconstruction efforts, keeping the Democratic Party together, and not allowing the Liberal Democratic Party to return to power.



(It is now 14:50, they are still reading their papers at the Lower House, and the people at the evacuation centers do not show much interest in this, as some live-reporting shows).



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at 15:21 ... KAN stays on!

With many votes in his favor.

Ozawa and about 30 others of his friends did not even show up for the vote.

Hatoyama votes PRO Kan.



Voting 152 versus 293 pro Kan 



What a joke, and how will the people in Tohoku feel now?

Much ado about nothing ? but what will the future bring?





内閣不信任決議案、反対多数で否決

投票総数445票、

反対293票、賛成152票だった。



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quote   

Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan has survived a no-confidence motion in parliament but says he is willing to resign when the country's post-tsunami recovery takes hold.



Kan won by a margin of 293-152 in the 480-seat lower house. Several members were absent or abstained from the vote.



Before the session, Kan urged lawmakers to let him stay on and push ahead with measures to bring the country through the crisis caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that left more than 24,000 people dead or missing and crippled a nuclear power plant northeast of Tokyo. He said he would consider resigning after they firm up.



Kan, in office just one year, has been criticized for not acting fast enough on the crisis.

source : news.yahoo.com





Thursday, June 02, 2011 15:36 NHK

No-confidence motion against Kan voted down



The Lower House of Japan's Diet has voted down a no-confidence motion against the Cabinet of Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

Lower House lawmakers voted on the motion submitted by three opposition parties at a plenary session on Thursday afternoon.

The motion was rejected after a majority of voting lawmakers cast dissenting votes.

The motion was submitted on Wednesday by the opposition Liberal Democratic Party, New Komeito and the Sunrise Party of Japan.



Two lawmakers from Kan's Democratic Party voted for the motion, while Kan's opponent in the party -- former leader Ichiro Ozawa -- and others close to him were absent from the vote.

Former prime minister Yukio Hatayama and other Democrats who had expressed opposition to Kan reversed and voted against the motion.

The Communist Party abstained from voting, and the Social Democratic Party skipped the session.

Just before the Diet session on Thursday, Kan said at a meeting of his party's Lower House members that he intends to resign.

He said he wants the party's younger generation to take over various responsibilities once he fulfills his role in handling issues related to the March 11th disaster and the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Before the vote at the session, Liberal Democratic Party, Vice President Tadamori Oshima demanded that Kan step down immediately.

Oshima said Kan did not specify conditions under which he will resign, adding that an ongoing prime minister can neither run the Diet nor deal with diplomatic affairs.

Democratic Party deputy Diet affairs chief Kazunori Yamanoi said it was irresponsible for the opposition to submit the no-confidence motion while Japan struggles to recover from the disaster and contain the nuclear crisis.





Thursday, June 02, 2011 19:05

Hatoyama: Kan to resign as early as by end of June

Former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama says that Prime Minister Naoto Kan may quit as early as later this month.

Hatoyama told reporters on Thursday that Kan will resign after Diet legislation to help reconstruct disaster-hit northeastern Japan is passed and the compilation of a second supplementary budget is almost finished.

Hatoyama said that he and Kan confirmed these conditions in a meeting earlier on Thursday.

He predicted that the bills will clear the Diet next week at the earliest. The supplementary budget plan to finance reconstruction is expected to be drafted by the end of June.



Democratic Party Secretary General Katsuya Okada has denied that Kan will resign under those conditions, but Hatoyama said Okada is lying.

Hatoyama said he has told former Democratic Party leader Ichiro Ozawa that he will make clear his agreement with Kan at a meeting of party legislators.





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June 03, 2011



Friday, June 03, 2011 06:46 - NHK

Pressure mounting on Kan to resign quickly

Prime Minister Naoto Kan says a state of cold shutdown at the reactors of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant would lay the groundwork for his resignation.

Ruling and opposition party members speculate that Kan wants to stay in his post until January. The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, says it will achieve a cold shutdown of the reactors by that time.

Earlier in the day, Kan said in a meeting of his Democratic Party that he wants to pass responsibility on to younger lawmakers after fulfilling his role in handling the disaster.

The remark was interpreted as Kan accepting his eventual resignation.

Kan is believed to have made the decision as some party members had hinted that they would vote in favor of a no-confidence motion against the Kan Cabinet, submitted on the previous day to the Lower House.

Criticism had been mounting in the party over Kan's handling of the reconstruction efforts after the March 11th disaster.

After the meeting, Kan's vague indication that he might resign prompted the party members to vote down the no-confidence motion by a large margin.

However, Democratic Party senior member and former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama sharply reacted against Kan's remarks at a news conference.

Hatoyama said he and Kan had agreed that the prime minister would resign after a reconstruction law passes and a second supplementary budget plan is formulated, which is expected in about a month. He said Kan must resign immediately if he has not been forthright in the agreement.

Lower House Democratic Party members, who changed their minds at the last moment and voted down the no-confidence motion, are also criticizing Kan's latest remarks.

Secretary General Nobuteru Ishihara of the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party called on Kan to resign as soon as possible, saying he will lose the trust of the international community.



Friday, June 03, 2011 12:39 NHK

Hatoyama urges Kan to resign immediately

Japan's former prime minister Yukio Hatoyama is urging Prime Minister Naoto Kan to step down immediately.

Hatoyama, a former leader of the ruling Democratic Party, spoke to reporters on Friday, one day after Kan survived a no-confidence motion. Before the vote, Kan announced his intention to resign once the ongoing crises over the March 11th disaster and the Fukushima nuclear accident are contained to some extent.

At a news conference on Thursday night, Kan didn't mention exactly when he would quit. Speculation is mounting within the government and opposition that Kan intends to step down around January next year, when the troubled nuclear power plant is projected to be stabilized.

Hatoyama said he and Kan had agreed that the prime minister would resign after a reconstruction law clears the Diet and a second supplementary budget plan is formulated, which is expected in about a month.

Hatoyama said Kan must step down immediately if he cannot follow through on a promise with a fellow politician. He went as far as to call Kan a "con artist".

Hatoyama said many party members put trust in him and chose to vote against the motion at the last minute. He said he would have voted for the no-confidence motion if he had known Kan would reverse his pledge so quickly.

Hatoyama said that he will call for a general assembly of all party lawmakers as early as next week in a bid to press for Kan's immediate resignation.

He plans to discuss the situation with Kan's rival and a former party chief, Ichiro Ozawa, later in the day.





Friday, June 03, 2011 14:37 NHK

Kan mum on resignation timing

Prime Minister Naoto Kan says he will step down in line with the agreement he reached with former prime minister Yukio Hatoyama and with what he said at a meeting of Democratic Party Lower House members.

Kan told his cabinet ministers on Friday that everything he and Hatoyama agreed to in their talks on Thursday has been written down in a document, although it does not clearly specify the timing of his resignation. Kan added that he has nothing more to say.

At a meeting of Democratic Party Lower House members on Thursday, Kan announced his intention to resign once the ongoing crises related to the March 11th disaster and the Fukushima nuclear accident are contained to a certain extent.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano also referred to the issue on Friday, saying the prime minister has the authority to decide when he will step down.

Edano said he is not in a position to comment, as the prime minister already clarified his intentions in his own words at Thursday's meeting.



Friday, June 03, 2011 19:14

LDP refuses to debate bills unrelated to disaster

A senior member of Japan's main opposition Liberal Democratic Party says his party will boycott Diet debates on bills unrelated to reconstruction efforts for areas hit by the March 11th disaster.

LDP's Diet affairs chief, Ichiro Aisawa 逢沢一郎, told reporters on Friday that he cannot tolerate Prime Minister Naoto Kan's refusal to clarify when he will step down. Aisawa stressed that people's mistrust of politics is deepening.

He also said his party will attend deliberations of only those bills related to disaster relief and will boycott all other bills, as it doesn't want to deal with a prime minister who is going to leave his post.

Aisawa added that the main opposition party will not agree to an extension of the current Diet session, which is due to end this month.





Friday, June 03, 2011 21:07

Kan denies he made resignation promise

Prime Minister Naoto Kan has refuted the claim that he promised to step down in about a month, and stopped short of mentioning a specific date when he will resign.

Speaking to the Upper House budget committee on Friday, Kan noted that a no-confidence motion against his Cabinet was voted down by a large margin the previous day.

He stressed his determination to do all he can in handling the country's 2 priorities --- the reconstruction of disaster-hit areas and handling the remaining issues at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Kan referred to differences between former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and the party's secretary general, Katsuya Okada, over the timing of his resignation.

He refuted his predecessor's claims, stressing that he did not make any promises to Hatoyama about the timing of his resignation or any conditions associated with it at their meeting the previous day.

Hatoyama said earlier Friday that he and Kan had agreed that the prime minister would resign after a reconstruction bill clears the Diet and a second supplementary budget plan is formulated, which is expected in about a month.

Hatoyama also said Kan must step down immediately if he cannot follow through on a promise to a fellow politician.





. . . . .



Just saw some features on TV. The opinions are sprading wide as to when Kan will resign. And most see this farce as a way to get rid of Ozawa in the first place.

Anyway, the people in Tohoku feel betrayed by the politicians of all parties and want help, help, help as soon as possible.



There has also been not much discussion as to who is to follow after Kan.



There are "Seven bugyoo" 小沢、七奉行解体 in the party of Ozawa.

長島昭久防衛政務官(48)

海江田万里(61)

馬渕澄夫国交副大臣(49)

松本剛明(50)

連ホウ(42)

細野豪志副幹事長(38)





and "seven new bugyo" in the Minshuto Party

民主党「新七奉行」

some count these six

仙谷由人官房長官 Sengoku

岡田克也外相 Okada

前原誠司国土交通相 Maehara

枝野幸男幹事長 Edano Yukio

野田佳彦財務相 Noda

玄葉光一郎政調会長 Genba

. Reference .



. . . . .





quote

Disaster victims angry at power struggles in Tokyo

SENDAI (Kyodo) --

Survivors of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami expressed their anger Thursday at politicians they said were wasting their time in a power struggle over a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Naoto Kan's Cabinet.



"If politicians have time to get in each other's way, they should come to Fukushima and help settle the accidents" at the radiation-leaking Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, a 25-year-old corporate employee in Tamura, Fukushima Prefecture, said.

The man also said he does not expect anything from such politicians but that Kan should stay in power until the nuclear crisis is resolved.



Eiichi Sato, 69, criticized the opposition camp for submitting the anti-Kan motion to parliament. "Now is not the right time to fight" Kan's government, said Sato, who is living in Sendai after his home in Kesennuma was destroyed in the quake-tsunami disaster.



Osamu Kanno, 57, in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, particularly questioned the behavior of Ichiro Ozawa, a veteran of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan who led the latest move to dethrone Kan, his archrival.

The city used to be part of Ozawa's constituency. Kanno said, "I don't know to what extent Mr. Ozawa understands the feelings of disaster victims."



In the Iwate prefectural government, an official who handles work to rebuild disaster-hit areas, said "Why now?" in referring to Wednesday's submission of the no-confidence motion. "Politicians are putting priority on a power struggle and leaving disaster victims behind."



Jun Sato, mayor of Minamisanriku in Miyagi Prefecture, told a news conference that he watched the political news with the sense of disgust. "Parliamentarians should quickly enact supplementary budgets for reconstruction," he said.



Fukushima Gov. Yuhei Sato declined to comment on the lower house's rejection of the no-confidence motion but said, "I'll take the result as the intention both of the government and parliament to work in a nonpartisan manner" on post-disaster reconstruction.

source : mdn.mainichi.jp



. . . . .



quote

Tohoku, Tokyo residents lash out at Diet backbiting

Opposition, DPJ turncoats hit by backlash for no-confidence vote

Tohoku locals and Tokyoites reacted with relief Thursday after Prime Minister Naoto Kan's Cabinet survived a no-confidence vote, averting a political vacuum for now, but criticized opposition parties for submitting the motion and the Democratic Party of Japan lawmakers who threatened to or did back it.



"If those politicians have time to get in each other's way, I want them to come to Fukushima and stabilize the nuclear plant's situation," said a 25-year-old businessman from Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, where the radiation-leaking Fukushima No. 1 plant is located. The man, who declined to be named, now lives in an evacuation center in Tamura, also in Fukushima.



Eiichi Sato, 69, whose house was destroyed in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, said opposition parties "do not think of the scale of this disaster. I would understand if they submitted a no-confidence motion after (the ruling and opposition parties) work together to overcome the disaster. Now is not the time to fight."



Still, some Tohoku locals said a temporary political vacuum would have been a price worth paying to get Kan out.



Fumio Oikawa, a 63-year-old manager of Gambare Shiogama, a small seaweed salt factory that was swept away in the tsunami, believes Kan has proved incapable of handling the aftermath of the March 11 disaster.



"Kan should be replaced. The government may have helped the general public a little by doing things like building temporary housing. But the government has done nothing to help our industry and commerce," Oikawa said. "It's better to have a short blank period in politics rather than keep having a leader who cannot handle the current situation."



Tokyoites, meanwhile, questioned the timing of the motion submitted by the Liberal Democratic Party, the largest opposition force, and verbally supported by a group of DPJ members close to party bigwig Ichiro Ozawa, Kan's archrival.



"While I don't think Kan's Cabinet is the best, I also question the move of the opposition parties and Ozawa's group in trying to pass a no-confidence motion at this point in time," said a homemaker in her 40s in Minato Ward.



The woman, who asked not to be named, said Kan should have cooperated with Ozawa to unite the party to handle the crisis.

Masahiro Tateno, a 22-year-old college student, said there seems to be a huge gap between voters and politicians.



Politicians are supposed to present voters' interests, "but I'm not sure whether submitting a no-confidence motion is in the people's best interests now," he said.

source : Japan Times



. . . . .



quote

Kan wins Pyrrhic victory: analysts

Prime minister's political survival does nothing to aid economy

By HIROKO NAKATA

Prime Minister Naoto Kan's weakened political clout has further deepened widespread concern over the country's apparent inability to contain its swelling national debt and deliver urgently needed funding to the disaster-hit areas, economists said Thursday.

One of the challenges the country faces is its crushing national debt. Thursday's political power struggle coincided with a key government committee's release of a drastic tax and social welfare reform plan.



The plan calls for raising the consumption tax to 10 percent by fiscal 2015 to finance growing social welfare spending. The plan stands as Kan's road map to recovering the country's fiscal health.



Kan is one of the few fiscal hawks among the executives in the ruling DPJ. In contrast, Ozawa and his followers appear reluctant to raise the sales tax and have called for more government spending to prop up the economy.

Economists said credit ratings agencies are bound to slash Japan's sovereign debt rating, given Kan's plan to resign.



"It's important to review taxes and social welfare to prevent the national deficit from going out of control," said Hideo Kumano, senior economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute Inc.

But with the administration's demise in sight, the plan drawn up by the committee is virtually meaningless, economists said.

source : Japan Times





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June 04, 2011



Saturday, June 04, 2011 12:53 NHK

Edano: Kan to resign 'in not-too-distant future'

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano says Prime Minister Naoto Kan will likely step down in the not-too-distant future.

Edano was speaking on a TV program on Saturday.

He said the prime minister has no plans to cling to his seat for a long time, and that it won't be long before he resigns.

Prime Minister Kan on Thursday said he will step down once he fulfills his role in handling issues related to the March 11th disaster and Fukushima nuclear accident.

He later said a state of cold shutdown at the reactors of the Fukushima plant would lay the groundwork for his resignation.

Governing and opposition party members speculate that Kan wants to stay in his post until January. That's when the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, says it will achieve the cold shutdown of the reactors.

On this, Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano said the cold shutdown does not determine the timing for the prime minister's resignation.

Former prime minister Yukio Hatoyama sharply reacted to Kan's remarks, saying that he and Kan had agreed that the prime minister would resign in about a month. Kan has denied this.



Saturday, June 04, 2011 13:23

Edano on Kan's resignation

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano says Prime Minister Naoto Kan will likely step down in the not-too-distant future.

Edano was speaking on a TV program on Saturday.

Prime Minister Kan on Thursday said he will step down once he fulfills his role in handling issues related to the March 11th disaster and Fukushima nuclear accident.

He later said a state of cold shutdown at the reactors of the Fukushima plant would lay the groundwork for his resignation.

Governing and opposition party members speculate that Kan will stay until January. That's when the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, says it will achieve the cold shutdown of the reactors.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano said the cold shutdown does not determine the timing for the prime minister's resignation, and that it won't be long before he resigns.

He said Kan has not said he himself will take part in the Japan-US summit scheduled for September.

Edano later told reporters that he believes the prime minister has no plans to cling to his seat for a long time, as is being reported by some media.





Saturday, June 04, 2011 21:57

Kan implies step-down in not-too-distant future

Prime Minister Naoto Kan says he may step down in the not-too-distant future, as he understands the essence of the memorandum he exchanged with former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.

At a news conference on Thursday Kan said he would resign when he completed certain duties related to disaster-recovery.

But he did not specify a date, causing a widening rift between himself and the Hatoyama camp, who want him to resign as soon as possible.

In a telephone conversation with one of his cabinet ministers, Kan reportedly denied that he plans to stay in office until January, as lawmakers from both the ruling and opposition parties have speculated.

He said he did not intend to say that he would resign as soon as Tokyo Electric Power Company achieved a cold shutdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The plant's operator says it will reach this stage by January.





Saturday, June 04, 2011 21:55

Kitazawa calls for party unity

Japan's defense minister has called on the ruling Democratic Party of Japan to unite instead of carrying on an internal feud.

Toshimi Kitazawa 北澤俊美 was speaking to reporters in Singapore on Saturday.

Kitazawa expressed support for the deal reached between Prime Minister Naoto Kan and former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama. After a meeting with Hatoyama, and just before the Lower House was to discuss a no-confidence motion, Kan told a party meeting that he intended to resign.

The remark changed the party dynamic, with most DPJ members voting against and defeating the motion.

But the party suffered a serious split.

Kitazawa said he cannot tolerate DPJ members who seem to be using the timing of the prime minister's resignation as an opportunity for intra-party maneuvering.

He said the memorandum exchanged between Kan and Hatoyama stipulated that the prime minister would fulfill his duties related to disaster-recovery issues as soon as possible.

He said he understands that the document suggests that once Kan has completed these tasks, he will let the party's younger generation take over a variety of responsibilities.

He said that instead of feuding among themselves, party members should ask the Kan administration to pass a reconstruction bill in the Diet and compile a second supplementary budget plan.

Kitazawa said he believes that by doing so, the party can achieve unity and carry on Kan's job after he steps down. He added that otherwise the party has no future.





quote

Mr. Kan's tricky promise

What happened Thursday in the Diet — a vote on a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Naoto Kan in the Lower House — will further deepen people's distrust of lawmakers at home and tarnish Japan's image abroad. The motion did lead, however, to Mr. Kan's vague pledge to resign in the near future, without specifying when. The noisy theater surrounding the motion must have strengthened the impression that Japan's lawmakers are interested only in jockeying for position in a power game.



Lawmakers appeared to have forgotten the sober fact that more than 15,000 people died and some 8,300 others went missing in the March 11 quake and tsunami; that nearly 100,000 people are still staying in temporary shelters, away from their homes; and that people in Fukushima Prefecture live with the fear of exposure to radiation from the nuclear accidents at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.



Mr. Kan survived the motion by a wide margin — 293 votes were against it and 152 votes for it — but his political base has weakened. He must tackle in earnest the task of alleviating the sufferings of disaster and nuclear crisis victims as well as of carrying out reconstruction of the Tohoku coastal region.

...

The fact is that those three parties had no concrete plan for taking over power in case the motion was passed. In this sense, they were irresponsible. It would also be difficult for people to get the impression that they are making serious efforts to help the sufferers from the disasters and the nuclear crisis and to push the reconstruction. While in power, the LDP and Komeito pushed nuclear power.

source : Japan Times





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Sunday, June 05, 2011



And who is going to replace Kan ?

How will Japanese politics change

if only the name at the top changes?


「菅後」の政界地図

菅首相の早期退陣





Sunday, June 05, 2011 23:21

Kan determined to pass important bills

Prime Minister Naoto Kan has indicated that he wants to stay in office until important bills are passed into law.

Kan met senior members of his Democratic Party on Sunday and said he wants to exercise his leadership to have 3 important bills ready to be approved.

The legislation covers a draft second extra budget for reconstruction projects, a bill for issuing government bonds to cover deficits and another for child allowances.

The party members said that if the Kan Cabinet submits the draft budget, it should take charge of Diet deliberations as well, suggesting that he should stay in office until the budget is approved.

Kan denied speculation that he intends to resign when reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant are safely shut down, which is projected to take place in January.

He said people apparently misunderstood his remark that he will leave office after the damaged plant is put under control.



Okada proposes grand coalition for disaster relief

An executive of Japan's governing Democratic Party has proposed a grand coalition with opposition groups once Prime Minister Naoto Kan steps down.

Democratic Party Secretary General Katsuya Okada 岡田克也 made the proposal on NHK's debate program on Sunday.

He said Kan will resign when the second extra budget is ready to be approved in the Diet to finance reconstruction projects for disaster-hit areas. Okada said if Kan tries to cling to power, he will tell the prime minister to go.

At the same time, Okada urged opposition parties to cooperate with the government in disaster-relief efforts.

He said he wants a grand coalition or other ways for the governing and opposition parties to work together.

But Okada added that even if a grand coalition is formed, it will only deal with a specific agenda and have a limited time frame.

The Secretary General of the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, Nobuteru Ishihara 石原伸晃, said the Kan Cabinet is already a lame duck and the only way to end the ongoing impasse is to make a new form of government as quickly as possible.

Ishihara said Kan should resign by the end of this month.

He indicated that his party may cooperate with the government if it makes clear when a general election will be held.

Kan said on Thursday that he will resign when reconstruction efforts get on track and the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is brought under control.



dairenritsu 大連立 前向き 自民幹事長も 退陣前倒し

「震災復興や税と社会保障の一体改革などのために、期限つきで(自民党と)連立すべきだ」と述べた。

source : mainichi.jp





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Monday, June 06, 2011



. The Political Situation - Part 2 .

From Monday, June 6 - June 30





. The Political Situation - Part 3 .

From July 2011 -



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