Kunio Natsuo (L) and Tanigaki Sadakazu (R) are Leader and President of the New Komeito and the LDP, respectively.
As can be expected in these lamest of times, the Liberal Democratic Party and the New Komeito, having failed to halt the passage of the bond isuance and electoral reform bills in the House of Representatives, submitted at a velocity somewhat faster than the speed of thought a censure motion to the President of the House of Councillors.
So what happens now?
All business in the House of Councillors comes to a halt, the motion taking precedence. The membership gathers in the plenary chamber. The parties submitting the motion explain their reasons for submitting the motion. The chamber votes.
Should the measure pass, nothing of consequence happens, as a censure motion has no legal effect. The prime minister, however, will be persona non grata in the House, stripped of the dignity of his office.
The presumed result is that the House of Councillors will cease to conduct any of its business, despite the Diet's still being in session -- the continued acceptance of high salaries for no work being extremely popular with the taxpayers. (J)
I am looking forward to the LDP's and the New Komeito's speeches. New levels of casuistry will be necessary to prevent folks from laughing.
The prime minister's faults:
- "He convinced us to vote for a rise in the consumption tax, which was our own policy."
- "He has increased Japan's international prestige by keeping his cool at a time when Japan is beset with challenges to its territories and territorial claims."
- "He disposed of non-Japanese activists landing on the Senkakus in exactly the same way Koizumi Jun'ichiro did."
- "He has led his party into passing a bill that provides the legal basis for the government to pay its bills."
- "He has led his party into passing an electoral reform bill that a) resolves the issue of the unconstitutionality of the districts due to over- and under-representation, b) cuts the cost of government by eliminating 40 seats of the House of Representatives and 3) increases the chances of the smaller parties to win seats."
A damning list, to be sure.
The live broadcast from the House of Councillors chamber is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m., accessible at http://www.webtv.sangiin.go.jp/webtv/index.php.
Photo image credit: Kyodo News