Japanese PM Bracing for No-Confidence Vote in Parliament

Posted June 1st, 2011 at 2:30 am (UTC-5)
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Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan is facing a no-confidence vote in parliament, with many members of his own party signaling they will vote to remove him from office.

The Asahi newspaper says more than 50 members of Mr. Kan's Democratic Party of Japan support the no-confidence motion, which is expected to come up for a vote on Thursday. The dissident lawmakers are unhappy over the prime minister's handling of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which crippled the Fukushima nuclear power plant and caused havoc in Japan's manufacturing sector.

The rebellious DPJ members are allied with former party leader Ichiro Ozawa, who is facing charges of violating campaign fundraising laws.

The measure is not expected to pass. But if it does, Mr. Kan will be forced to step down or dissolve parliament and call for new elections. The DPJ and its coalition partners hold more than 300 seats in the 480-member lower house.

The prime minister has struggled to gain support for a second supplementary budget to fund the reconstruction process, as well as a bill that would authorize the sale of billions of dollars of government bonds to finance the public debt.