Japan PM plagued by funding scandal, U.S. base row
Japanese opposition parties vowed on Sunday to pursue a funding scandal that has ensnared a ruling party kingpin ahead of a mid-year election, but stopped short of threatening to delay a budget debate in parliament, Reuters reported.
Voter support for Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's four month-old government has been hit by the scandal, doubts about his leadership and concerns he is mismanaging relations with the United States as the 50-year-old security alliance confronts a rising China.
Adding to Hatoyama's headaches, a candidate who opposes plans to relocate a U.S. airbase on Japan's Okinawa island won a local election there on Sunday, complicating the search for a solution to a feud with Washington over the base.
The declining ratings are threatening the ruling Democratic Party's chances in the mid-year election for parliament's upper house, raising the risk of policy stalemate in the long term.