politics

Upper house passes censure motion against Noda by 129 to 91 votes

27 Comments
By Stanley White and Tetsushi Kajimoto

The opposition-controlled upper house on Wednesday night passed a censure motion against Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda by 129 to 91 votes, piling more pressure on him to make good on the promise to call an early election.

The reprimand is non-binding, but effectively means that the opposition will stop cooperating with the government on most bills, including key ones on deficit financing and voting reform that need opposition votes to pass.

Early this month, Noda promised to call an early election as the price for opposition support for his plan to raise the sales tax to offset rising social security costs.

But to the growing frustration of his rivals, he has since been coy on the timing of the vote and last week brushed off as speculation reports that he had suggested a November date in his talks with opposition leaders.

No one expects the Diet to serve its full term that ends in August 2013, but many of Noda's Democrats want to push back the vote as opinion polls show they would lose badly.

By threatening to stall the bill that the government needs to cover the bulk of its fiscal deficit and 40 percent of all spending, the opposition hopes to finally win his unequivocal commitment.

Five months into this fiscal year, the government has made do by dipping into reserves and making other adjustments. But Finance Minister Jun Azumi has warned that the government could run out of cash by early October if the bill fails to pass.

In its censure motion that it later merged with one submitted by smaller parties, the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party and its main ally New Komeito Party accused Noda and his government of incompetence in handling state matters.

In particular, it called recent territorial spats with South Korea, China and Russia a "national crisis" caused by incoherent foreign policy.

The Democrats on Tuesday passed the deficit-financing bill in the lower house they control and an election reform bill to correct a bias that favours rural voting districts. However, the opposition boycotted both votes, signalling the bills had little chance of clearing the upper house.

Several ruling party and opposition lawmakers have suggested that Noda would probably wait out the stalemate until the current Diet session ends on Sept 8 and call a snap vote during an extra session in October to secure the bills' passage.

An election is likely to end the DPJ's three-year rule, though opinion surveys suggest the poll may fail to produce clear winners, given the high percentage of undecided voters and general disillusionment with mainstream parties.

The DPJ, a mix of conservatives, center-left lawmakers and ex-socialists, swept to power in August 2009, pledging to change how Japan was governed after more than 50 years of almost non-stop rule by the conservative LDP.

Three years and three prime ministers later, critics say the Democrats have largely failed to deliver on promises to reduce bureaucrats' control over policymaking and pay more heed to families.

The party has also suffered defections over the tax increase and is divided as Noda tries to devise a national energy policy amid a growing anti-nuclear clamour after last year's Fukushima atomic disaster.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2012.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

27 Comments
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All of those who are defending Noda should answer the question, "What exactly has he accomplished.?" Briefly, he has given the US just about everything it wants even if it is not beneficial for the Japanese people. If he had more time in office, he would sign the TPP FTA which would be devastating to Japan in social and economic ways. He has led a government which has constantly deceived the nation about Fukushima and the effects of radiation on the public. He has spread radioactive and toxic waste throughout regions previously unaffected. He has sent a tremendous amount of money overseas to support the off-shoring of Japanese jobs, the bailout of European banks, to fill the coffers of the IMF, to build roads, ports, schools, airports, power plants, and railroads in Pakistan, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Thailand, and others while senior citizens from Fukushima are still living in a school gym (and paying for their bento). He has raised taxes in a futile attempt to control deficits but has paid only lip service to cutting government spending. He has restarted nuclear reactors before they have been retrofitted to meet the government's own standards for safety and against the overwhelming opposition of the public. He has sent Japanese men and women into war zones which might be against a literal interpretation of the Constitution but then limited their ability to defend themselves as a way of skirting the issue. He has failed to develop effective diplomacy with China, choosing to follow the Kan standard of allowing the US to lead this foreign policy effort even though Japan's interests in China are not the same as US interests. This is not an exhaustive list.

So, what exactly has he done that merits support except by those special interests who benefit from these actions, special interests of which the average Japanese family is not a part?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

more toxic politics in Japan as usual

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I just hope the voters wake up and vote against Tanigaki and his childish legion of political aparatchiks, and give his anti-anything policy just what it deserves.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"When there is another election, the people of Japan should get their act together and vote the LDP and Komeito out of office and into history. By getting rid of these leaches the nation might start moving forward and prospering again ..."

Well Komeito will always have steady numbers regardless. It's just been strange to see how they have been guided by Buddhist principles.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The reprimand is non-binding, but effectively means that the opposition will stop cooperating with the government on most bills, including key ones on deficit financing and voting reform that need opposition votes to pass.

Blackmailing Japan and any progress, no wonder 3/11 victims are still living in temp housing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't understand why Noda must be censured. No other Japanese politician could, can and will be able to do as good as Noda at present needless to say about LDP politicians. Noda is a well balanced good man. He is doing very well holding down the left wing forces within DPJ.

For once I agree with you, Noda san is not just another rich man wanting to add a few months as PM onto his resume, he is very much a normal guy, I mean, he has even less money than me!

Please suggest a viable alternative PM to Noda san, from either side.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There is no shadow of a doubt that the voters, the ones who bother to go to the polls, and the rest of the electorate who do not bother to vote, but think they are entitled to an opinion, should be most disappointed with the LDP, and not the DPJ which has been trying to govern this nation in the face of an opposition, you know who, which only had one strategy: opposition, and that had absolutely no interest in trying to work out policies that would benefit the nation, also conveniently forgetting/ignoring, the fact that this same LDP, with its accumulation of misguided policies solely intended to strengthen its own power base, so to speak, over decades, is largely responsible for creating the trouble the nation is in now. The DPJ was confident it could make a difference but was not up to the task of undoing all the damage the LDP had done over the years. I'll mention just one example out of a zillion: lack of oversight and collusion in the nuclear power industry.

Is the LDP serious about retrieving power after the next election? Absolutely.

Is the LDP serious about satisfying the nation: the economy, relief for victims of disasters, waste of tax money, graft, disputed territories, etc. Absolutely not.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why bother to even have elections if the majority government is continuously held to ransom like this....this is sickening to watch.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The upper house is a motley collection of professional wrestlers, members of wacko new religions, entertainment celebrities and sports figures. It's as useful as teats on a bull.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

And this bunch of so-called "upper" house idiots have achieved precisely what over the last couple of years?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

****Nothing to do with Fukushima............

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Disillusioned: "Meanwhile, Rome still burns."

Exactly! And when the LDP takes power in October (likely), the DPJ will start off the LDP's reign in power by opposing everything they do, simply for opposition's sake, and demand a lower house election, censure motions, etc.

All of these guys need to go. Sadly, of course, there is no viable alternative. The DPJ are all former LDP flunkies with exactly the same mind-frame, and with the LDP looking to cease power in the very near future, and knowing they will, they're not going to change their stance on anything at all. They'll demand a raise in consumption tax just like the DPJ has, citing, "A lack of funds and DPJ mismanagement" as the reason for requiring it, etc. etc., ad nauseam.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If there is to be a censure vote in the upper house, why not aim it at the feet-dragging Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito. They have done nothing to help the government nor the people of Japan since they lost the last big general election. Somebody in the parliament should have a no confidence vote against those bums.

The only thing the LDP and Komeito want is an election so that they can regain power ... and regain control of our tax money. Noda has a young and capable staff working around him. What can the LDP and Komeito offer? A rerun of the corrupt people who led Japan down the road toward financial ruin while they controlled the government?

When there is another election, the people of Japan should get their act together and vote the LDP and Komeito out of office and into history. By getting rid of these leaches the nation might start moving forward and prospering again ...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Meanwhile, Rome still burns. The economy still slips further into recession. A hundred-thousand people are still living in temporary housing in the north-east. TEPCO are procrastinating with the clean up in Fukashima and delaying compensation payouts. No solutions to the energy crisis. That crazed mayor in Osaka wants to form his own shogun style faction and overthrow the government with ninjas and samurais. China and south Korea are disputing sovereignty of islands that were taken by Japan during their imperialist rule last century and the Japanese people are just head down and ass up not giving a fat rat's. Sounds like a pretty normal day in Japanese politics.

Should censure the whole bloody lot of them!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

After all the problems Japan went through before and after the disaster, Noda is the one man that managed to accomplish several difficult tasks despite political and public opposition. Whatever people may think, he has done more for Japan than the whole bunch of populists whose only thought is how to get into power.

It was clear from the beginning that passing these bills would guarantee his party's losing the elections. Yet, he went through with them. During the short time of being the Head of Cabinet he did much better than the string of meek PMs who hurried to step down as soon as there was something which required their decisive action.

Though I am not a DPJ supporter I cannot deny the obvious.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

walking out of a session, behavior of schoolchildren really. They always protest and shout, instead of sitting down and carefully discussing matters. No wonder nothing gets done.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Good god man all these guy do is think up ways to get into power, they just waste so much time, no wonder nothing gets done in Japan.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

gee, not "gives the LDP government" but DPJ, of course. but heck they are no different.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But members of the DPJ want to put off an election for as long as possible due to their sagging support.

The LDP and Komei collaborated with Noda to enact a sales tax hike bill without undergoing an election to be judged by the people. And now they file a censure motion against their collaborator without passing an important bill for this years fiscal budget. They are behaving not for the people but for their political tactics. Hopefully, the LDP and Komeito will be expunged at the next election. But at this point Maehara says that censure motion by the LDP and Komeito gives the LDP government a good reason to renege on its promise to "dissolve the Diet soon." Will Noda really dissolve the Diet soon? A loach may be as sly as a serpent.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sayonara, Mr. Noda. Your time is nearly up...

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

new election = more power for Ozawa. Do you realize he is basing his whole policy on what is popular? No nukes, no tax raise. He will gain a lot of power if an election is called soon.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The electoral system reform bill must be passed before the house is dissolved. Since the LDP want a dissolution it's unclear what they hope to achieve by boycotting the Diet. Noda should ignore the censure motion: there is no good reason for it and the LDP and their Komeito stooges are turning the political system into a farce with their childish antics.

If you want to boycott the Diet return your salary and allowances LDP weasels.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Finance Minister Jun Azumi said that unless the deficit-covering bond bill passes, the government could run out of money by the end of October

Wow!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I don't understand why Noda must be censured. No other Japanese politician could, can and will be able to do as good as Noda at present needless to say about LDP politicians. Noda is a well balanced good man. He is doing very well holding down the left wing forces within DPJ.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

tamanagegi : the DPJ - without Osawa' vision - was unagrueably a disaster. ......................................... However the LDP after 60 years of rule actually engineered the context for the current disaster : with their Amakudari cronyism; crumbling infrastructures; acquiescence to USA's ongoing and unecessary presence on Japan's sovereign soil ...................to name a few .......................Japanese do not trust the LDP either ...........................

11 ( +12 / -1 )

The DPJ experiment is nearly over.

LDP okaerinasai!

-15 ( +0 / -15 )

The fat lady is humming!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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