Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s biggest step yet toward winning a sales tax increase aimed at reining in the nation’s public debt came at the cost of alienating one-fifth of his party’s lower house lawmakers.
While the chamber yesterday approved legislation to double the 5 percent levy by October 2015, 57 lawmakers in the ruling Democratic Party of Japan voted no, and former DPJ leader Ichiro Ozawa signaled he may leave. If he takes more than 50 followers with him, it could endanger the party’s majority.
Noda, who called the rebellion “unfortunate,” now must hold together a deal with the opposition Liberal Democratic Party to win passage for the bill in the upper house. With the Diet session extended until Sept. 8, weeks of wrangling may be in store for a country that has seen six leaders since 2006.
Read the rest of the story: Noda Victory on Japan Sales Tax Law Risks Party Majority.