In the end, Kamei "Pavarotti" Shizuka could only convince his policy research council chief Kamei Akiko (who, strangely enough, is not a close relation. She is the direct lineal descendant of the daimyo of the Tsuwano han. He comes what might be a branch line that reverted to being peasants during the Sengoku period) to leave the government. For reasons that only he can fathom, he thinks he can decamp with the People's New Party banner under his arm, leaving the 6 now former PNP members to labor on in the Diet as independents.
Kamei's leaving in a huff allows Jimi Shozaburo, the financial services minister, free to vote in the next cabinet meeting in favor of the bill increasing the consumption tax -- the last hurdle the government of Noda Yoshihiko had to vault before it could offer the bill to the House of Representatives.
Unfortunately for Kamei, and for persons trying to make sense of the situation, Jimi, party secretary-general Shimoji Mikio and the 4 others say they have not left the PNP. (J)
Something has to give. Likely as not the 6 will form a new party that can then join the government in a new coalition, maintaining the leverage they need in order to pressure the Democratic Party of Japan into scheduling a vote on a postal counter-reformation bill the 6 like. Or they can rely on the assurances of the prime minister (5 of them met with Noda last night) that the raison d'être of the PNP will be respected, even if the PNP is in the state of non-être.
So after Fukushima Mizuho of the Social Democratic Party of Japan, Kamei Shizuka of the PNP has headed for the doors on a point of principle (the point of principle not being the execution of three death row convicts, the other subject that kept Kamei Shizuka, a fervent death penalty opponent, busy yesterday).
The first post August 2009 election prime minister Hatoyama Yukio, Kamei and Fukushima, the trio who ushered in the new era of Japanese politics just 2 1/2 years ago (or quartet, if one adds the shadow prime minister Ozawa Ichiro) have all strode off from center stage, leaving their respective parties either hobbled or in shambles.
The revolution rolls on, having devoured its first generation of leaders -- as is so often the case.
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