Japan parliament rejects no-confidence motion against Suga government

Tokyo, Jun 15 (EFE).- A no-confidence motion presented against the Japanese government led by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga was defeated Tuesday in the parliament, thanks to the large majority enjoyed by the ruling coalition.

The no-confidence motion, led by the four main opposition parties, was voted down in the lower house of the Diet or parliament on Tuesday by 322 votes to 134.

The motion sought to raise questions over Suga’s leadership at a time when the people’s approval of the government has nosedived over his management of the pandemic and the Tokyo Olympics.

But the voting highlighted the weakness and division among the opposition, in contrast to the undisputed majority of the ruling coalition formed by Suga’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Komeito, which together control 306 of the 465 seats in the lower house.

The no confidence motion was tabled by the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party after the government rejected its plea to extend by three months the regular session of the house, set to end on Wednesday, in order to ensure a coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic from all political parties.

Opposition leader Yukio Edano, during an intervention before the vote, accused Suga of halting the functioning of the largest state institution for a prolonged period and in the midst of the biggest crisis since the Second World War.

When asked about the motion by journalists on Monday, Suga insisted that fighting coronavirus and ensuring citizens’ safety “as soon as possible” was his government’s priority.

The prime minister said that the two houses of the parliament could be dissolved and general elections could be announced “at any moment” ahead of Oct. 21, when the current legislature completes its term.

Suga had earlier indicated that the elections could be held in September or October, when the Olympics would be over and the majority of the population is expected to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Suga’s government is experiencing extremely low popularity ratings for months due to its dubious handling of the pandemic and continued support for holding the Games in the Japanese capital despite the pandemic and popular opposition to the event.

A survey released by state broadcaster NHK on Monday showed that 45 percent of the respondents did not back the Suga administration, while 37 percent said they were happy with his leadership. EFE


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