SDP Positions Itself to Oppose Hatoyama Cabinet
    2010-05-31 20:43:08     Xinhua      Web Editor: Liu Donghui

Japan's Social Democratic Party leader Mizuho Fukushima, who would be put in charge of consumer affairs and policies to boost the low birth rate, arrives at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo September 16, 2009. [File Photo: Xinhua/Reuters]

Analysis: SDP's Departure to Cause House of Hatoyama to Fall?

Mizuho Fukushima, leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), said Monday her party may support a no-confidence motion against the Cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, if submitted to the Diet by the opposition.

Following her dismissal from Hatoyama's Cabinet for not approving the prime minister's plans to relocate a U.S. marine facility within Okinawa and her party's subsequent departure from the ruling tripartite coalition, Fukushima said that her party will hold serious discussions on whether to support a no- confidence motion, should the opposition camp introduce it.

"Our party will discuss it," Fukushima told reporters in Tokyo. "But it will be difficult to oppose," said the leader of the left- leaning party inferring she may vote in favor of the motion to further the SDP's position as an opponent to the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ).

Fukushima, staunchly opposed to a controversial relocation plan for the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air station to a coastal area in Okinawa Prefecture, that runs contrary to numerous promises made by Hatoyama to move the base off the island, also suggested that her party may back candidates for this summer's upper house elections in constituencies they had previously avoided out of consideration for the DPJ.

"I've heard that we may be fielding candidates in Nagano," Fukushima said on a television program, regarding a constituency in which DPJ member and Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa is expected to run for a fourth term.

"I've also been hearing about the possibility of somehow backing candidates in Iwate and Kanagawa prefectures. Electoral cooperation with the DPJ will only be conducted on a limited basis. "

Hatoyama was hoping to maintain the support of the SDP in order to consolidate the DPJ's power in the upper house to ensure the smooth enactment of new policies and has been criticized by his own party members, including his deputy, Secretary-General Ichiro Ozawa, for dividing the coalition.

Hatoyama's Cabinet has lost a consumer affairs minister and a vice land minister from the SDP, which holds seven seats in the lower house and five seats in the upper chamber, following his announcement of the new Futenma pact with the U.S. and has seen public support fall to record lows according to the results of weekend polls conducted by prominent dailies and released Monday.

Despite mounting pressure for him to resign, Hatoyama reiterated Monday his intentions to stay in office, saying, "For the good of the people, I will bring stability back to politics and do my best. That is the bottom line."


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