Japan’s lower house of parliament on Thursday shot down a no-confidence motion put forward by the main opposition party against embattled Speaker Hiroyuki Hosoda.
The ruling coalition, which controls the more powerful lower house of Japan’s bicameral Parliament, rejected the motion, but will also have to vote on another no-confidence motion submitted by the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) against the cabinet, as an upper house election looms next month, reports Xinhua news agency.
According to the CDPJ, the cabinet of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida had done “nothing in response to soaring prices in Japan”.
The two no-confidence motions were submitted ahead of the 150-day parliamentary session scheduled to end on Wednesday, ahead of campaigning for the upper house election, which is slated to kick-off later this month.
The Diet affairs chief of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Tsuyoshi Takagi, told a press briefing prior to the votes being cast that there is “no fault in the government management or the Diet operation that amounts to no-confidence.”
This claim has been refuted by the CDPJ.
“It is a fact that many people are worried and discontent,” CDPJ policy chief Junya Ogawa said.
“We have the responsibility to speak for them. It is an important occasion for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Mr. Hosoda to reflect on themselves,” Ogawa said.
Hosoda has been hit by a scandal involving a weekly magazine carrying a report that alleges he has sexually harassed multiple women, including a reporter and an LDP staffer.
In the motion against Hosoda, the opposition party was quoted as saying that “someone who lacks dignity is heading the legislative branch”.
Hosoda’s camp paid several thousand yen per day in cash to local assembly members and others in western Japan during campaigning for last October’s lower house election, documents also revealed Wednesday, in a another possible blow to Hosoda
If the documents and the actions prove true, this would be tantamount to bribery and thus in direct contravention of Japan’s election law.
Meanwhile, the main opposition party has chastised Kishida’s Cabinet for not doing enough to tackle skyrocketing prices in Japan.
The CDPJ has claimed that Kishida’s cabinet, in the fiscal 2022 supplementary budget, has only focused on tackling rising gasoline prices in situations where wholesalers can be subsidized.
Despite the tight schedule, the current parliamentary session will not be extended and the ruling LDP-led coalition and its junior Komeito ally plan to pass through parliament the remaining bills during the current parliamentary session.