The opposition Liberal Democratic Party would accept Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s tax bill if he promises to dissolve the Lower House and expels heavyweight Ichiro Ozawa from the ruling party, LDP Secretary-General Nobuteru Ishihara said.
It was the first time an LDP executive has expressed the possibility of allowing the Diet to pass the bill, which includes doubling the consumption tax rate to 10 percent by 2015, before a Lower House dissolution, which would lead to a snap election.
“The LDP would agree (with the bill) if Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda tosses out Ichiro Ozawa, former leader of the Democratic Party of Japan, and makes a commitment on when he will dissolve the Lower House, and if DPJ Secretary-General Azuma Koshiishi promises to coordinate views within the DPJ," Ishihara said in a lecture in Nara on April 1.
Ishihara stressed that the LDP will press the DPJ on the conditions, saying, “(The LDP) will question in Diet debate about whether Noda has the resolve to pass the bill.”
The DPJ needs the cooperation of the opposition parties, which control the Upper House of the Diet, to pass the tax bill. But the ruling party also faces opposition from within on the proposal to raise the consumption tax rate, particular from Ozawa and his intraparty group, the largest in the DPJ.
LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki reiterated his position that the main opposition party would support the tax bill after the prime minister dissolves the Lower House and calls a snap election.
Tanigaki said on a program of Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) on April 1 that he opposed the tax bill. But he was later vague about the issue with reporters in Kyoto, saying the final decision “could be affected by future discussions.”
Also during the NHK program, Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada denied there would be any pre-arrangements for a Lower House dissolution. “The public doesn’t want rigged-like politics.”
He also showed that he expected the bill’s passage.
“A path will open if (we) have discussions with the LDP without reservations,” Okada said.
- « Prev
- Next »