Nakatsugawa Hirosato, a third term Democratic Party of Japan member from the House of Representatives, Tokyo Bloc, has just turned in his resignation papers to Acting President Tarutoko Shinji. He was one of the 19 Representatives who voted against the bill raising the consumption tax to 10% who nevertheless elected to remain inside the DPJ. He is the second of that group to since change his mind and submit a letter of resignation.
Unlike his predecessor Kato Gaku, Nakatsugawa is a proportional seat member. Also unlike Kato, Nakatsugawa is choosing to serve out the rest of his term as an independent. (J)
Which makes little sense, career-wise. True, by voting against the Cabinet, Nakatsukawa guaranteed that the party leadership will not be putting his name on the party list the next time a House of Representatives election is held. Unless he is planning on retiring from politics all together, he has to find either a party to take him (Which is not very likely, for if there were a party in need of him, he would not be coming out as an independent, would he?) or a district where he can run, with campaign funding coming from Amaterasu-knows-where.
His reasons for leaving the DPJ are equally peculiar. He attributes his decision to the passage of the consumption tax bill (Which happened, what, 24 days ago?) and the prime minister's not firing Japan's Ambassador to China Niwa Uichiro for Niwa's having tut-tutted about Ishihara Shintaro's plan to have the Tokyo Metropolitan District buy three of the Senkaku Islands.
This indicates that Nakatsugawa maybe thinks he has a future in the TMD's or a Tokyo municipality's right wing politics, after his term as a Representative ends.
With Nakatsugawa's resignation, the number of Diet members who have resigned from the DPJ since the consumption tax vote now stands at 55 -- 39 from the House of Representatives and 16 from the House of Councillors.