Japan opposition submits no-confidence motion against Cabinet

Japan opposition submits no-confidence motion against Cabinet

TOKYO Kyodo -- Japan's major opposition Constitutional Democratic Party submitted a no-confidence motion against the Cabinet of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday, in a move that has turned up the political heat ahead of a House of Councillors election next month.

In the motion, the CDPJ criticizes the Cabinet for not doing anything in response to rising prices in Japan. The ruling coalition, which controls both houses of parliament, expects to vote down Thursday, along with another motion against House of Representatives Speaker Hiroyuki Hosoda, who is embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal.

The CDPJ hopes to show it is a viable alternative to the Liberal Democratic Party and its partner Komeito by adopting a more confrontation approach as campaigning for the upper house election begins later this month after the 150 day parliamentary session ends on June 15.

The draft motion said that ''Kishida inflation puts the country on a path to ruin.

The government has released a relief package to help alleviate the pain of rising energy, food and other items felt by consumers in the upcoming election.

If the CDPJ is attempting to gain an advantage ahead of the upper house election, the party will come under more public scrutiny, said Toshimitsu Motegi, secretary general of the ruling LDP.

Kishida has seen solid public support since he became prime minister last October, which has helped improve the COVID 19 Pandemic situation and a tough stance on Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

In the fiscal 2022 supplementary budget, Kenta Izumi criticized Kishida's Cabinet for only taking measures against rising gasoline prices, which centered on subsidizing wholesalers. He said that it will neither protect people's lives nor revive the Japanese economy.

The CDPJ-submitted motion criticizes the Cabinet for not reviewing monetary easing by the Bank of Japan. The yen's sharp depreciation of late has boosted import costs for resource-poor Japan, due to the central bank's continued accommodative policy.

In response to a backlash from opposition lawmakers and consumers, BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda retracted his earlier remark that consumers are more tolerant of price hikes, saying in parliament he did not mean to say higher prices are acceptable for them.

The opposition said that someone who lacks dignity is heading the legislative branch after he was recently reported by a weekly magazine to have sexually harassed women, including a reporter and an LDP employee.

The CDPJ has called for other opposition parties to support the two motions, but they are far from united.

The Social Democratic Party co-sponsored the CDPJ motions against the Cabinet and the Lower House Speaker, and the Japanese Communist Party will likely back both.

The Japan Innovation Party is going to reject the no-confidence motion against the Cabinet and abstain from the other, even though it has been stepping up criticism of the administration and aiming to leverage growing public support for the small opposition party.

The Democratic Party for the People leader Yuichiro Tamaki said it would be difficult to support the Cabinet motion because of signs of warming to the ruling coalition.

The prime minister must dissolve the powerful lower house or cabinet if a no-confidence motion is passed. Opposition parties in Japan often submit one toward the end of a parliamentary session.