Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda will be challenged by three rivals to lead Japan’s ruling party as it confronts a new political force headed by Osaka’s mayor ahead of elections that could come as early as October.
Former Japanese defense chief Shigeru Ishiba, the most popular choice to win this month’s race to head the main opposition party, said the government must step up its control of islands claimed by China by building on them.
Yoshihiko Noda has accomplished more than Japan’s five previous prime ministers in his first year in office. He may still lose his job, after dividing his party, outraging anti-nuclear activists and raising taxes.
Japan’s opposition-dominated upper house of parliament passed a censure motion against Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in a bid to force elections and delay the passage of a bill needed to finance government spending.
Japan is set to pass legislation tomorrow to raise the sales tax after the main opposition party failed in a bid to force Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to set an election date in exchange for support on the bill.
Japan’s lower house of parliament passed legislation authorizing the sale of bonds to finance the budget that will probably be blocked by the upper house, complicating Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s economic policy.
The leader of Japan’s main opposition party said a coalition with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s ruling party remains unlikely after the two cooperated on legislation to double the national consumption tax.