Japanese opposition party votes no-confidence against cabinet 2023

According to local media, Japan’s largest opposition party, the Constitutional Democratic Party (CDP), submitted a vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s cabinet on Friday.

Moments earlier, Japan’s upper house of parliament had approved a measure that would substantially increase the country’s defense expenditure, which the CDP opposes.

It also occurred two days after Kishida said he would dissolve the lower house if a no-confidence motion was submitted, a statement he later retracted on Thursday, saying he had instructed Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) officials to vote against it. Given the LDP’s parliamentary majority, any such vote would be mostly symbolic.

A few weeks ago, as Kishida’s approval ratings rose in the days following his hosting of the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Hiroshima, his hometown, rumors of a dissolution surfaced.

Opposition party in Japan files vote of no confidence in government.

While the opposition gave Kishida a reason to dissolve the lower house and call a sudden election, Fuji News Network reports that the ruling party will deny the no-confidence motion later on Friday.

In light of a rising stock market and a fragmented and feeble opposition, some LDP legislators had advocated for an early election, but risks have emerged in recent days.

The issuance of national identification cards and a party held by Kishida’s son – his erstwhile political secretary – at the official residence of the prime minister have attracted increased scrutiny. A few policymakers of the governing party were prompted by the occurrence of both events to urge caution regarding the upcoming election.

Lower house elections are not scheduled until 2025, but Kishida will compete for party leadership next year.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida attends the House of Representatives Committee on Audit and Oversight of Administration on June 12, 2023 at the Diet building in Tokyo.

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