Japan Press Weekly
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Upper House censures Prime Minister Fukuda
The House of Councilors on June 11 adopted a nonbinding censure motion against Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo, the first against a prime minister in postwar Japan.
The Democratic, Social Democratic, and Peoplefs New parties jointly introduced the censure in the opposition-controlled upper house. The Japanese Communist Party did not join them but voted in favor of the resolution. The ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties voted against it.
In a speech at the JCP Dietmembersf Group assembly that was held prior to the House of Councilors Plenary Session, JCP Chair Shii Kazuo stated, gPrime Minister Fukuda deserves the censure.h
Shii cited adverse policies Fukuda has imposed on the public since he took office in September last year. gMr. Fukuda has betrayed the public on a series of issues. He has been obsessive about sending troops abroad. He has forced the creation of a health insurance system for elderly people aged 75 and older separate from the existing national health insurance program.h
gThat said, itfs not appropriate to introduce a censure motion at this time. We should choose a better timing for proposing such an important motion because effective results will not forthcoming under the present circumstances,h he added.
Shii also pointed out that although the DPJ is trying to take a lead in introducing the censure, it is not doing what it should to make efforts to conduct debates in the Diet in order to drive the LDP-Komei government into a corner. gThe DPJfs intention of submitting the motion is just another form of party politics,h he said.
A censure motion in the House of Councilors does not have legal binding power, unlike a no-confidence motion against the cabinet in the House of Representatives, but has a certain impact as an expression of the mood in the House of Councilors.
- Akahata, June 12, 2008
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