Japanese lower house votes against Kishida Cabinet

Japanese lower house votes against Kishida Cabinet

TOKYO Kyodo's lower house voted down no-confidence motions submitted by the main opposition party against the Cabinet of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and the scandal-hit house speaker Hiroyuki Hosoda on Thursday, with the ruling coalition refusing to participate in a major parliamentary face-off ahead of the upper house election next month.

The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan has accused the Cabinet of not doing anything in response to rising prices in Japan, and called Hosoda unfit to lead the House of Representatives, the powerful legislative branch controlled by the ruling bloc of the Liberal Democratic Party and its partner Komeito.

The motions were submitted ahead of the end of the 150 day parliamentary session next Wednesday. The campaign for the House of Councillors election is expected to begin later this month.

The CDPJ has criticised Kishida's Cabinet for taking measures against rising gasoline prices, centering on subsidizing wholesalers in the fiscal 2022 supplementary budget.

"To fight rising prices and build people's lives and the Japanese economy, we cannot allow the Kishida Cabinet continue," said Kenta Izumi, CDPJ chief, in Parliament.

Ahead of the vote, Tsuyoshi Takagi, LDP's Diet affairs chief, told reporters that no fault can be attributed to the government's management of the situation or its operation of the Diet that warrants a motion of no-confidence, a claim rebutted by the CDPJ.

There is a fact that many people are worried and discontented about CDPJ policy chief Junya Ogawa, who said we have a responsibility to speak for them. Ogawa said that it is an important occasion for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Mr. Hosoda to reflect on themselves. Hosoda has been under fire over a report by a weekly magazine that said he sexually harassed women, including a reporter and an employee of the LDP.

In explaining the intent of the motion against him, CDPJ-Spokesman Akiko Okamoto said Hosoda has failed to fulfill his responsibility to explain himself over the scandal.

Documents show Wednesday that Hosoda's camp paid thousands of yen in cash to local assembly members and others in western Japan during campaigning for the lower house election in October. If proven to be an instance of bribery, it would be in violation of the election law.

After the votes, the ruling coalition of the LDP and its partner, Komeito, plan to pass the remaining bills through parliament before the end of the current parliamentary session.