Sixteen Lower House members of the Democratic Party of Japan loyal to Ichiro Ozawa applied Thursday to leave the DPJ’s parliamentary group in the Diet and form a new group in an apparent attempt to pressure party leaders to back away from punishing the kingpin.
A parliamentary group is a body comprised of lawmakers who have agreed to vote the same. In most cases they are members of the same party. All DPJ members and some independents currently belong to the DPJ-led parliamentary group.
The lawmakers said the move does not mean they will leave the DPJ.
The move came as the DPJ moves the process forward to suspend Ozawa’s membership in the party over his indictment stemming from his political funding scandal.
Read the rest of the story: Punish Ozawa at your peril: 16 DPJ allies.