Japan’s PM Mulls Resigning in July

Posted June 20th, 2011 at 7:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Japanese news media say that Prime Minister Naoto Kan is likely to step down in exchange for obtaining opposition support to pass a new extra budget and a bill the government needs to issue deficit-covering bonds.

Kyodo News agency said Monday that the embattled prime minister is expected to announce in the coming days when he will leave office. It quoted senior lawmakers of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan as saying that Mr. Kan is considering resigning in July to avoid legislative stalemate.

The government is seeking to pass the second supplementary budget in July to fund additional relief measures for the victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

If Mr. Kan decides to resign, he is expected to call for opposition parties to cooperate in passing the extra budget and the bond bill, essential for the government to secure about 40 percent of the revenue planned in the budget for fiscal year 2011.

The ruling Democratic Party needs opposition help because it lacks a majority in the upper house, which can block bills.