Japan's lower house rejects no-confidence motion
Japan's powerful lower house, which is controlled by the ruling parties, easily voted down a no- confidence motion against Prime Minister Taro Aso's Cabinet on Tuesday, but a censure motion against Aso is expected to pass the upper house later in the afternoon, Xinhua reported.
The no-confidence motion was voted down 333 to 139, but the purpose of the opposition parties was to criticize the policies of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the New Komeito.
The other motion, which has little binding force, is expected to further embarrass Aso when it is passed in the upper house controlled by the opposition.
Kyodo News said the DPJ-led opposition bloc plans to refuse to take part in Diet proceedings once the House of Councilors approves the censure motion, setting the stage for an election showdown from Wednesday ahead of Aso's planned dissolution.
It means any bills currently in parliament including the one to enable inspections of cargo on Pyongyang in line with a U.N. Security Council resolution will likely be scrapped. But the ruling parties still plan to get the cargo bill passed at the lower house in a plenary session to be convened Tuesday evening.
Despite mounting pressure after LDP's loss at the Tokyo assembly election, Aso reiterated Tuesday morning he is determined to fight on and would not resign ahead of the general election.
Aso and senior officials of the ruling coalition parties agreed Monday to dissolve the House of Representatives next Tuesday at the earliest and hold a general election on Aug. 30.