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Gov't junior coalition party starts to unravel over consumption tax bill


Divisions surfaced Friday in the government's junior coalition People's New Party (PNP) over cabinet approval of the bill to raise the consumption tax.

On Friday, PNP leader Shizuka Kamei said he would pull his party out of the coalition after the cabinet approved the bill. “We joined the government based on its 2009 election manifesto that it would not raise taxes,” Kamei said, according to TV Asahi.

However, his deputy Shozaburo Jimi, who is minister of postal reform and financial affairs, agreed to approve the bill. Furthermore, PNP Secretary-General Mikio Shimoji told reporters that six of eight legislators wish to remain in the coalition.

Kamei has already been linked to the formation of a possible new party with Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara and Takeo Hiranuma, head of the opposition Sunrise Party.

The three senior conservative politicians met in late January to lobby support from disgruntled members of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and opposition parties.

© Japan Today/AFP

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And how many times will that have been that Kamei pulls out of a government/party when he doesn't get his way? While I don't agree with a consumption tax hike, Noda should tell Kamei to kiss his butt and get out already. No one needs Kamei's fledgling party anyway. All these little parties made of disgruntled LDP/DPJ members are a joke.

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Indeed, Noda doesn't need Kamei - he doesn't even need half of his own party. He is so hell bent on forming a government with the LDP and Komeito at the moment, it is a wonder he hasn't just disbanded the DPJ....

DPJ should have gotten Komeito to join the coalition in the beginning - it would have given them better numbers from a party that frankly has been proven to be purely mercenary - give them a few cabinet posts and they'll go along with whatever ideology you ask for. It was a mistake teaming up with Kamei and the Socialists instead in the first term.

And if you want to know where the DPJs approach of renegging on its manifesto is going to lead, well, take a look at what happened in the upper house elections last year when the public gave its assessment of the big change of course under Kan. The same thing is going to happen in the lower house elections next year. Two years from now, the DPJ is going to have as many members in parliament as Kamei's party does.

...which, btw, remember is indeed a party made up of disgruntled socialist and LDP members in its origin... :)


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