Thursday, June 2, 2011

Criticized after Fukushima, Japanese Prime Minister saved his place

The Japanese prime minister left of center, Naoto Kan, Thursday, June 2 survived a motion of no confidence from the opposition after the volte-face "rebels" of his own party who ultimately decided not to support this text Parliament. Before the vote, Mr Kan, 64, made a last-minute concession by promising to cede power to the younger generation once accomplished its task of reconstruction in the north-eastern Japan, devastated by a March 11 deadly earthquake and tsunami.

"Once I completed my management of the disaster and assumed my role to a certain point, I would like to convey my responsibilities to a younger generation," he said, carefully avoiding to give a timetable. "Let me carry out my responsibilities until the job is done. I need to do all of you.

I sincerely request the members of the DPJ to unite and reject the motion of no confidence today," he added. The opposition, led by the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and their allies the New Komeito, needed at least 82 votes from members of the ruling party, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), to get his motion.

One of the most powerful politicians, Ichiro Ozawa, a rival of Mr. Kan in the DPJ decided to vote for the text in order to compel the resignation of Mr. Kan, whom he accuses of betraying his campaign promises and not have been worth about the earthquake, the tsunami and the nuclear accident in Fukushima.

But a few minutes before the start of debates in Parliament, the group of MPs "rebel" within the faction of Mr. Ozawa has said they would vote against the motion finally, media reported. Mr. Kan, elected just last year, had threatened to call early elections if he was outvoted, which probably makes you think some members who prefer to retain their seats for another two years, rather than go to the voters.

The double tragedy of March 11 has nearly 24,000 dead or missing and some 100,000 homeless in the north-east of the archipelago. The conservative LDP lost power in parliamentary elections of 2009, after more than half a century of dominance over Japanese politics.

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