Japan PM faces party revolt

Japan’s centre-left Premier Naoto Kan, in power just seven months, faced a mutiny from a small group of party lawmakers on Thursday that threatened his reform agenda and weakened his leadership.

Sixteen lawmakers loyal to Kan’s internal party rival, scandal-tainted powerbroker Ichiro Ozawa, asked to leave the party’s grouping within parliament and signalled they may not support the party in votes on crucial laws.

The rebels said they were acting in protest at Kan’s lack of leadership and his failure to meet the original pledges of the Democratic Party of Japan, which swept to power in 2009, ending a half-century of conservative rule.

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