Heads roll as Noda replaces 5 ministers to get LDP support for tax hike bill

By Stanley White

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The tax hike is seen as an essential part of efforts needed to curb Japan’s snowballing public debt.

Stop spending needlessly. I'm sure there are plenty of places to cut spending in the japanese government. Less staff, lower (or less high) salaries for ministers, downgrade their cars, stop travelling 1st class... Maybe i'm shooting blanks but it is, after all, a government.

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By removing the ministers, who are seen as under-performing...

LOL, if you removed every 'under-performing' individual from J-gov, you would have no one left.

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ministers, who are seen as under-performing

... because they voiced their opposition to the tax hike?

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He might have won a few LDP votes but he just slashed his political throat within his own party! I expect Ozawa to tear into him any minute now for "selling out his own party". His days are numbered and my guess is a new Prime Minister by early-August at the latest.

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BAKA! They must be laughing themselves sick.

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This is like just clipping the leaves in order to kill the weed...

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The tax hike is seen as an essential part of efforts needed to curb Japan’s snowballing public debt

Actually, it is not! It will only lessen the amount of spending by consumers, thus creating even more pressure on the economy. It would actually be better to give tax breaks to people to encourage spending.

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And Noda falls RIGHT into Tanigaki's trap: Not only does he get exactly what he demanded, but now he can point out how Noda cannot keep his word (swore he would not replace them) and that as such he is unfit to lead. Tanigaki's NEXT demand in order to debate the tax raise issue will be for Noda to call snap elections and/or step down as PM.

Noda has proven himself as incapable as at least his past 6 predecessors (in as many years).

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In these times, he should lower the taxes. Just look at the babas throwing themselves on sales at a supermarket.

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Noda is an absolute disgrace - I hate how the Japanese PM changes so frequently but if there is one that needs to bite the dust , it is Noda.

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At least this guy has the balls to do something, I'll give him that. But taxes are not the way forward, reduced spending is the first step.

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If Noda wins and the taxes increase their is a fair-to-good chance you will see a currency rush out of Japan and into countries such as Malaysia and New Zealand. If Noda is willing to risk his political life on this tax increase, then maybe the public should expedite his political death.

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"By removing the ministers, who the opposition has criticized for not performing properly, Noda hopes to persuade the biggest opposition party ... to back a package of tax bills including the sales tax increase.

Looks like the opposition are effectively running things then.

Doesn't seem to be much point in Prime Ministers OR cabinet ministers in this country.

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Bring back Kan!!!!!!

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More heads are gonna roll when the economy melts down due to the stupid consumption tax hike.

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Bring back Kan? Heck, bring back Koizumi!

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From last week:

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Friday said he had no intention of replacing two cabinet ministers who had censure motions submitted against them in the Diet last month.

It was obvious at the time that this was a blatant lie, one of many. Noda has proven once again what a hopeless liar he is. An absolutely useless sack of flab. This country would be better off if a cabbage were prime minister.

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Any chance of just cutting the bureaucratic waste, like the DPJ were elected to do? Oh sorry, how silly of me. It is essential that legions of faceless bureaucrats "prepare a document" on our dime into the early hours of each morning.

One ministry drone told me, without a trace of embarrassment, that he absolutely HAD to work 14 hours every day, because he was going to the Maldives on holiday, and it's very expensive. He didn't seem to see the need to pretend there was any genuine work to do.

We need to trim the fat off the bureaucrats before the rest of us have to pay still more to keep them in cream.

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At least this guy has the balls to do something, I'll give him that. But taxes are not the way forward, reduced spending is the first step.

Yes, the government urgently needs to cut spending, which will affect the whole of society. The burden has to be shared by everyone. And there is no way to avoid a consumption tax hike, but the way this is done has to be worked out. An across the board hike for all goods and services is not fair. There should be different rates for food, care and services, for example. A gradual hike of 5% over 3 years is not that unreasonable.

It's easy to call Noda incapable, but I must say I am pretty disgusted with the bickering between the governing party and the opposition. Cooperation to get the nation out of its economic woes seems far from the minds of the politicians. What are they really after? Mention incapable and I see that term applied to a huge group of 'lawmakers'.

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Instead of giving us a hike, I wish Noda would take one.

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Heck, bring back Koizumi! The guy who allowed the haken kaish to ruin decent employment for anyone hired after him? The guy who didn't know he legally had to pay into the pension system? The guy who has never met his youngest son? No thanks. Koizumi helped ruin this country. Why no one remembers this is beyond me.

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I don't like tax hikes just as much as the next person but going from 5% to 10% isn't the worst thing in the world. Take the UK as an example its 20% there and the UK is one of the most expensive countries to live i.

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I'm not a close follower of each minister's ability, but presumably defense minister Tanaka, transport minister Maeda, and the other three were in their positions because they were judged to be the best people for their respective jobs.

Now Noda is dumping them so that the opposing party will support him on his precious tax increase. But won't this hurt Japan's defense, transport, and three other fields because less-qualified people are now leading those departments? Noda has to have this tax increase even at the cost of having lower-quality ministers in five key positions?

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If in my case ill change the worse into better too use their ability inorder to serve not for serve, many dont work hard ,but in position for power useless ,same in my work.im simple but i listen and saw all of them.

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There is no one truly qualified to lead Japan in the current government, either side included here. It's a revolving door position that just makes Japan look like a 1st world country with 3rd world leadership.

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Bickering between the government and the opposition? That depends on who you mean.

Noda has cast his own party, his own party principles, and his own public promises aside, put on the gimp suit, run up to the pommel horse, and is shouting for LDP to come down to the basement and have its way with him.

Here is a guy who decided that when he couldn't persuade the largest faction leader of his own party to join him in betraying the Japanese public by breaking its foundation manifesto promise, to immediately instead move to get the support of the party that the public elected the DPJ to replace.

Under Noda, the DPJ has cast aside its own policies, adopted the policies of the LDP that it was voted out for, cast aside dissenters in the party that don't like it, and is now shamelessly begging for the LDP to help him overcome opposition from the dissenters who are still trying to hold the party to the principles that got it elected.

This cabinet shuffle represents a complete abandonment of principle by Noda - a complete capitulation and de facto attempt at getting the DPJ to merge with the LDP instead of representing an alternative to voters that it was supposed to be.

Tanigaki and Ishihara are creaming themselves laughing over of this. Now they got the two ministers they wanted kicked out, now they say they won't support Noda's bill unless he publicly admits he is withdrawing the DPJ policy manifesto (which he has done) and on that basis, will call a snap election after the sales tax bill is passed.

The LDP is pointing out that the DPJ has betrayed its mandate. And they are right. The Noda cabinet has no moral mandate to govern.

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Thon - among the shopping list of reasons that the no confidence vote against the two fired ministers succeeded (and not just by the hand of the LDP, but also the JCP and SDP) is that they showed they were never up to the job they were given. Although truth be told, it is hard to think there is anyone particularly more or less qualified. They just used their time up faster than most.

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Sadly, you are 100% correct Hikozaemon....Noda has managed to completely destroy what little credibility DPJ had left...if this was a fiction suspense movie one could say its almost as if he was a secret mole planted by the pro establishment bureaucrats & LDP to destroy DPJ...that's how completely he screwed the party he is supposed to lead... Now , wait just a minute....

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So simple! The tax is fair in any country unless you don't want to pay your way. More you spend more you pay, you get back what's yours if your in business. Get over it. And increase the inheritance tax to get back the money all the fat cats have been stealing from the future generations. Can't you see the brick wall that's coming?

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I get a strange sense of DejaVu. Isn't the shuffling of ministers the first sign that there will be a new PM in the not too distant future?

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People here seem to think that the debate within the DPJ is against the sales tax rise. That's not the case. Everyone supports it. It is just a question of timing and priorities.

The LDP says tax first, give the Finance Ministry more money to keep ruining the country with out of control unaccountable discretionary spending by the vast faceless bureaucracy and feeding kickbacks into rural politicians, and worry about actual reform of government on some other rainy day.

The DPJ says fix government first - make government spending and policy making accountable for the first time to elected lawmakers rather than invisible ministerial vice ministers with lifetime tenure, control reckless and out of control spending, reduce the public burden of the cost of Japan's enormous self serving shadow government in Kasumigaseki, and when you've cleaned up that administrative monster that is the root cause of government, THEN raise sales tax. The DPJ promised in its manifesto to dedicate its first 3 year term to cleaning up and reforming how government is run, and to then raise sales tax incrementally only after it won a second term.

The DPJ wanted to be judged at the next election by its performance in reforming government, and use that mandate as the basis for considering later tax increases.

What ex-finance minister Kan, followed by successor finance minister Noda did was call a halt to Ozawa's aggressive clean up of the bureaucracy, and focus instead on giving the bureaucracy what it wants. The DPJ assumed the same role as the LDP, as the servant of the bureaucracy in the Diet. Tax first - reform later. Maybe.

We are back under de facto LDP government now. 2012 and no one to vote for...

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If Ozawa sticks to his guns, he may come out on top of this cluster fluck.

I don't think that the LDP is going to cooperate with Noda, they're just trying to run the clock out on the DJP circus, so they can assume the role of ring master.

Aren't they trying to appeal Ozawa's court decision.

These people are doing nothing but manipulating the system for their own ends, there is zero public interest in their plans.

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Rather then reducing spending, he decides he wants to keep spending, and raise taxes in order to afford it. Thanks that will really help everyone...

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@Hiko and Patrick -- As I mentioned above I really don't know if they were competent in the least; I only thought it was safe to surmise that, given that they did occupy those positions, that they were the best of the field, no matter how talented or untalented their rivals might be.

Given the DPJ's stated aims as described in Hiko's post (at 12:33), Noda's betrayal of what had been voted in by the public is shameful. It's really disappointing to see theese buffoons waffling and putting political infighting ahead of what the public needs. And as usual, the public -- particularly the younger half of the public -- will end up the loser.

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The LDP lost the last election. What gives it the right to call the shots? The DPJ bloc has a majority in the powerful lower house, so it can go ahead with the bills without the support of the unpopular parties.

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The J-government would be making a mistake if they raised income tax rates because the working population to total population ratio has fallen . Obviously, high unemployment is not the proper time to be raising income tax rates. There is a fear that this tax increase would throw Japan into another recession. The economy is very fragile right now and it can be easy for the recovery to suddenly reverse and go into a recession. The J-goverment do not understand is that they will be destroying their economy in the process. Economies like the U.S. and Japan rely overwhelmingly on consumer spending. If you raise the sales tax rate, people are going to be less likely to continue to buy on the scale that they previously were.

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The LDP lost the last election. What gives it the right to call the shots? The DPJ bloc has a majority in the powerful lower house, so it can go ahead with the bills without the support of the unpopular parties.

Sorry, no it can't. They need a two thirds majority in the lower house to pass bills even if the upper house votes against them. This was never a problem when the LDP could fix every election so that they always controlled both houses. They can't do that any more, now that everyone knows how useless they are.

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Why does Noda replay video of the LDP stating they want to rasie tax? I don't get why they don't shove their face into this with it all. The LDP is trying to block something THEY wanted to do and yet, Noda doesn't give it back to them. Why not?

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tmarie: Noda wants to be in the LDP, that's why he goes along with everything they want and refrains from criticising them. He is nothing but a traitor and should be expelled from the DPJ.

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JeffLee - the reason is Kan. The public voted their opinion on his rolling back of the DPJ manifesto an tax plans by crushing the DPJ in upper house elections. The DPJ would have retained those seats and had a free hand to implement it manifesto if Kan hadn't lost the public trust.

Now the LDP has an upper house veto.

And instead of learning the lesson of that upper house defeat, Noda has come in to simply continue and exacerbate Kan's mistakes. The DPJ will be destroyed in the next lower house election. Noda is responding by going all in with the LDP and casting aside principle. Ozawa and his supporters are trying to restore some kind of credibility to the party by having it return to its manifesto principles in order to survive the next election.

I think it's too late. Noda is hell bent on implementing the LDPs programme. It is hard to see why anyone would vote for the DPJ in the next election.

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Simon Foston: Yeah, you're right. I just did a calculation that the DJP bloc has 63.7 percent majority. I thought it was a tad higher. Bummer!

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Why don't they just fire the ministers and get rid of those positions, that in itself will save money and the ministries themselves probably don't care either.

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